The rise and fall of Muqtada al-Sadr…again

While Muqtada al-Sadr may be this week’s biggest loser in Iraq, the country’s battle for influence is still in full swing

September 01 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By The Cradle’s Iraq Correspondent

On Monday at noon, Kazem al-Haeri, a prominent Shia authority (marjaa) in Iraq – particularly among supporters of firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr – announced his retirement and urged all ‘believers’ to follow the Leader of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Within Haeri’s two-page statement, he addressed the influential position of Muqtada al-Sadr – whose Sadrist bloc garnered the most votes in Iraq’s October 2021 election – and accused the wildly popular cleric of possessing neither the religious knowledge nor the ability to lead the Shia sect or the people of Iraq.

In response, Sadr made two decisions: the first, was a tweet to announce his retirement from Iraqi politics. Although he has regularly (nine times) ‘retired’ since 2013, this time it was under the guidance of a religious figure he could absolutely not ignore.

For Haeri is the religious heir to Muqtada’s father Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, one of the most influential Shia authorities in Iraq’s recent history. Before his untimely assassination along with two of his sons in 1999, the elder Sadr had urged his followers to obey Kazem al-Haeri in his stead.

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Sadr-religious-authority-is-Haeri-.mp4?_=1

Although in the intervening 23 years, Muqtada has garnered the widespread support of his father’s followers to become the most powerful Shia political figure in Iraq today, he is not Mohammad Sadeq’s designated religious heir, and so Haeri’s public set down was significant.

Baghdad on fire

On Monday evening, hours after Sadr’s Twitter resignation, Baghdad fell into violent chaos when Sadrists stormed the capital’s Green Zone, leading to 30 dead and almost 200 injured security forces and rioters.

Sadr’s quick resignation had in fact been a smart move to prevent his movement from splitting in half: he feared one group would stay loyal to him, while the second would obey his father’s successor, Haeri.

Haeri’s statement would not be the only blow to Sadr’s ambitions. Despite his vast number of Shia followers, Sadr has recently been beset by a series of political setbacks.

In June, after months of unsuccessfully struggling to form a coalition government with his winning parliamentary bloc, Sadr attempted to shake up the Iraqi political scene by ordering his political bloc to quit.

The resignation of his deputies from parliament did not reap the desired results. Iraq’s judiciary gave him the cold shoulder, refusing to provide legal backing for Sadr’s controversial move. And his political opponents slapped right back at him – step by step, tweet for tweet, street by street.

Not only did Sadr fail to dissolve parliament and put in motion a process for new elections, but his calls for other Iraqi parties and movements to relinquish their weapons were rejected.

A nail in Sadr’s coffin?

Sadr’s major second decision on Monday was executed through his party’s armed wing, Saraya al-Salam (Brigades of Peace, ironically). It is inconceivable that the mobs of armed Sadrists who stormed the Green Zone later that evening were part of a spontaneous action. In actuality, Sadr was sending Iraqis a mixed message: while he is withdrawing from commanding his bloc’s political leadership, he is in effect leaving it in the custody of Saraya al-Salam, which will ultimately take direction from Muqtada himself.

The Sadrists rapidly moved to demonstrate that they still maintain the upper hand in Baghdad – despite their leader’s resignation – with a show of force in the city’s high security Green Zone, where Iraq’s government buildings and foreign embassies are mainly located.

The most prominent of the Sadrists on the street that night was the general supervisor of Saraya al-Salam, Tahseen al-Hamidawi, a long-time fighter who participated for years in battles against US occupation forces in Iraq.

The role of Saraya al-Salam in transferring its militants from the neighborhoods of Sadr City, al-Shaab, and Ur neighborhood, east Baghdad, to the Green Zone was crystal clear on Monday night.

Not only did these fighters engage in armed confrontation in the heart of Baghdad, they also moved to the city’s outskirts to torch the headquarters of some Popular Mobilization Units (PMU or Hashd al-Shaabi ) such as Badr Organization, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and the State of Law coalition of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In addition, during the clashes, rockets were fired at the US embassy and pictures of Iranian leaders were burned.

The Sadrists were clearly trying to provoke the PMU into armed confrontation, but the latter exercised a uniform discipline that left the former clashing with Iraqi government forces instead.

Although regional and foreign media tried to frame these clashes as a Shia-on-Shia fight between Sadists and pro-Iran PMU groups, this was never the case, as Sadr himself later clarified in his statement the following day.

The conflagration that night picked up steam quickly, spreading to Basra, the economic capital of Iraq, and to the provinces of Maysan, Dhi Qar, and Diwaniyah.

The clashes between Saraya al-Salam and Iraqi security forces spilled into Tuesday morning, as in Iraq, each person has his own clan and tribal extension, and any crisis tends not to remain confined between political parties once the bloodshed begins.

This was not a good look for Sadr and his supporters. They were fighting, killing, and injuring Iraq’s own forces, and had not succeeded in drawing his opponents into the street. Muqtada had to stop the clashes, and quickly.

A source close to both Ayatollah Ali Sistani – Iraq’s leading Shia authority – and Sadr, tells The Cradle that Sistani’s son, Mohammed Ridha, called Muqtada to arrange a meeting with his father.

In their meeting, Ali Sistani, the Shia cleric whose famous fatwa led to the creation of the PMU after ISIS invaded Iraq, urged Sadr to stop the carnage at once.

Following their conversation, on the afternoon of 30 August, Sadr aired a televised statement demanding that his supporters end their siege of Baghdad’s Green Zone. He further thanked the PMU for their restraint and for not participating in the clashes.

Humbled by his miscalculations, Sadr referred to himself as an “ordinary citizen” and disavowed his own Saraya al-Salam militia by calling their actions “shameless.”

What now?

Iraqis recognize that what is happening now is merely an attempt to calm the situation, and that at least the immediate risk of renewed fighting has been removed.

While it is true that Sadr’s political rival parties were calling for calm, they too have been prepped for an internal fight. These parties hold Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi responsible for allowing the escalation, and have hinted that he has benefited from widespread Iraqi support for their security forces during the clashes, as he rigorously pursues a second term in office.

The ongoing fragility of Iraq’s political impasse demands tangible, radical solutions implemented by a transitional government that tackles the issues of the Electoral Commission, the electoral law, the overlapping of powers, and constitutional loopholes. These are urgent items agreed upon by all political parties.

In public, the official demands of the two rival Shia camps focus on the way the state is run, but in truth, it is a battle for influence in the government and the state.

According to well-informed sources, several Iraqi armed movements, particularly Iraq’s Hezbollah Brigades and the Badr Organization, are working on reorganizing inter-Shia talks to reconcile their differences and reach a win-win solution palatable to all.

Although Sadr has stepped away from politics – at least for now – he was able to send several messages this week: he confused Iraq’s various regional influencers, reestablished himself as an important militia leader, and in his resignation speech, managed to win the sympathy of some of his opponents.

Winners and losers

Despite scoring some important points, Sadr and his movement are likely the biggest losers from this week’s events in Iraq.

First, Sadr has consistently demanded that Iraqi militias (PMU), mainly the Iranian-backed variety, hand over their weapons to the government, fearing they might be used internally and not against ISIS or foreign occupation forces. Instead, Monday’s events plainly showed the country that the only militia using their bullets on Iraqis were Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam.

Regionally and internationally, Sadr has been a hard nut to crack – an unpredictable powerhouse with a lot of people-power inside Iraq. Muqtada has fought both the Americans by gun and the Iranians by politics, and his statements against both can flip from one day to the next.

If Sadr keeps his word and maintains his distance from politics, this will create a domestic vacuum that both the US and Iran will be eager to fill.

Given that Iraq’s Shia demographic represents more than 60 percent of the country’s population, and Haeri has asked Mohammad Sadiq a-Sadr’s followers to obey Iran’s supreme leader in his stead, Iran may at first glance have the upper hand in this contest.

An Iraq unswayed by US diktats is, after all, more likely to ease its restricted borders, engage more heavily in trade and diplomacy with its immediate neighbors, and play nice with the region’s Axis of Resistance, which wields influence from Beirut and Damascus to Tehran and Sanaa.

The only genuinely popular Shia leader in West Asia who does not share Iran’s political worldview, at least in recent times, is Muqtada al-Sadr. His exit from Iraq’s political scene makes room for the Resistance Axis’ foreign policy and economic development vision to grow, with less fear of internal breaches and more coordination against common external enemies.

The US and its Persian Gulf allies, however, will not stop seeking influence over Iraqi decisions. Their efforts to sow discord between Shia political parties has succeeded in recent years, and whether knowingly or unwittingly, Sadr was instrumental in realizing this schism.

Only time will tell how this picture progresses. Sadr remains a highly unpredictable figure inside Iraq with a strong support base, and one who is not known for sticking to his word.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Author

Iraqi resistance group warns of attacks against US, Israeli targets in Kurdistan region

Harakat Hezbollah Nujaba says Kurdish leaders have turned Iraqi Kurdistan into a ‘legitimate target’ for hosting of US and Israeli occupying forces

May 17 2022

Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are seen in Zumar, Nineveh province, Iraq October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal – RC1E698CF530

ByNews Desk

Iraqi resistance group Harakat Hezbollah Nujaba (HHN) has threatened to target Israeli and US positions in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region (IKR).

In a statement published by the Sabereen News media outlet, the leader of the group, Akram al-Kaabi, said: “By hosting the US military bases and the positions of the Mossad, leaders of the Iraqi Kurdistan region have not only compromised the security of the northern Iraqi people but have also turned the area, infested with spies and occupying forces, into a legitimate target for Iraqi resistance groups.”

The statement was accompanied by a caricature showing the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, with two crows marked as Israel and the US sitting on his head, while he invites other evil crows to his sphere of influence.

It also depicted the commander of the Nujaba resistance movement ordering his forces to smash the nests of crows perched atop Barzani’s head.

The HHN, also known as the 12th Brigade, is a Shia resistance group affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi.

Last December, Iraqi lawmaker Ali al-Fatlawi said resistance groups could legitimately force US-occupation troops to withdraw from the country.

He added that the withdrawal of foreign occupation troops from Iraq was “non-negotiable,” as in early 2020 parliament passed a resolution calling for the full withdrawal of the occupying forces in the wake of the US assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and PMU deputy leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes.

In March of this year, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a precision missile strike against a Mossad base in the city of Erbil.

Speaking exclusively to The Cradle, a senior Iranian security source revealed that three Mossad agents were killed during the strike.

In another exclusive, the official spokesman of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party’s Erbil office, Azad Jolla, confirmed that the Israeli spy agency Mossad has long been active in the capital of the IKR.

Related Posts

Several US military convoys come under attack in Iraq

May 15 2022

Iraqi resistance groups have stepped up strikes against US military convoys in recent months

ByNews Desk

US soldiers speak to families in rural Anbar, western Iraq. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Susannah George, File)

US military convoys have come under attack by unknown militant groups in several Iraqi cities, according to a 15 May report by Mehr News Agency.

Citing local sources, the report states that three US military logistics convoys came under attack in the Iraqi cities of Al Diwaniyah and Samawah.

There have been no reports about the details of the damages, casualties, nor of any groups claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Another attack on a US military convoy, also in Al Diwaniyah, was reported by Sabereen News on 11 May.

Attacks on US forces in Iraq have seen an uptick in recent months after Baghdad’s failure to implement a law passed by parliament to expel foreign occupation forces from the country.

The vote came in the days following the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Qassem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy-chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in 2020.

Roadside bombs have also recently targeted US forces in Dhi Qar and Anbar.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to only lay down their arms after the full withdrawal of US forces in Iraq.

Recently, US troops stationed at Harir Air Base in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) opened fire on a number of houses and one car in Erbil’s Basrma district on 9 May.

The Governor of Basrma, Jangawar Azhgayi, told Rudaw that US troops were conducting drills when the accident happened. He also confirmed that no casualties were reported.

A video released by Telegram news channel Sabereen News on 28 April allegedly showed the transfer of ISIS fighters by two US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters inside Iraq.

Over the years, US occupation forces in Iraq and Syria have faced several accusations of collaborating with the Takfiri armed group, despite claims to the contrary.

In August 2017, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported seeing US choppers transporting ISIS fighters in and out of the city of Deir Ezzor multiple times.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that a new airdrop was carried out in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, by the forces of the International Coalition … reliable sources confirmed to the [SOHR] that the International Coalition transported members of the ‘Islamic State’ organization.”

Seif Al-Quds: The battle which ushered in a new era of Palestinian armed struggle

12 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Robert Inlakesh 

The battle fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel” completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

Seif Al-Quds: The Battle Which Ushered In A New Era Of Palestinian Armed Struggle

Although for many, the Seif al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem) battle, last May, represented significant suffering and loss of Palestinian life, the war fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel”, completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

Lasting between May 10 and May 21, dubbed the “11-day war”, Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip combined their strength with that of the entire Palestinian population inside occupied territories. After consistent Israeli incursions into al-Aqsa mosque last Ramadan, the spokesperson for the al-Qassam brigades [armed wing of Hamas], Abu Ubaydah, gave Israeli occupation forces a 6 PM deadline to withdraw from Al-Aqsa Mosque and stop a far-Right settler march. On the deadline, a barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza, into Israeli settlements surrounding Jerusalem. It was then that “Israel” officially announced it was going to war with Gaza.

Around 270 Palestinians were killed across the occupied territories by Israeli occupation forces and settlers, however, the story of human suffering during the war was not the only significant element. Unlike had been the case in 2014, 2008-9, and even in 2012, all years when the Israeli occupation forces launched military operations against the Gaza Strip, no significant win could be taken from the side of the Palestinian resistance. With the exception of the 2012 war, the other battles between Gaza’s armed groups and “Israel” had resulted in the weakening of the position of the Palestinian armed struggle. During Seif Al-Quds, things were quite the opposite, for the first time, it was a real strategic victory on the part of a unified front of armed factions, making up what has become known as the ‘Joint Room’ of resistance factions.

“Israel” was forced into political and military disarray, as the victory of Seif Al-Quds only further led to the downfall of former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ushering in a new Israeli ruling coalition. “Israel”’s military strategy of attempting to draw the resistance forces into the attack tunnel systems, in order to bombard them and kill hundreds, failed tremendously and completely took the Israeli military by surprise. The Gazan forces had somehow figured out, most likely through intelligence gathering methods, what “Israel” had been planning – a fake invasion announcement – preemptively preparing themselves for such an Israeli attack. Hamas even dictated to the Israelis in “Tel Aviv” when they could come out of their bomb shelters, telling them that they would stop their rocket attacks for 2 hours on one given night. The sight of Israelis listening to the guidelines set to them by Hamas and the other armed factions, made “Israel’s” air defense systems and military strategy seem weak, proving the Zionist forces useless at defending their own population.

Furthermore, the tactics used by the armed groups, such as; slowly revealing new weapons technology, striking everywhere inside the 1948 territories, putting Israeli airports on temporary lockdown and controlling the course of the battle, all showed the entire region the weaknesses of “Tel Aviv”. If little besieged Gaza could foil “Israel’s” military strategies that they had worked on for years, not lose their military capabilities, force “Israel” to accept a non-conditional ceasefire, imagine what a force like Lebanese Hezbollah, or the Syrian Arab Army, would do to them? This was the question in the minds of world leaders at the time. To conclude the battle of Seif Al-Quds, “Israel” did not fire the final shot by midnight when the ceasefire kicked in, it was Hamas that had the last say. 

Seif al-Quds proved for the Palestinians, as well as regional allies of the camp of resistance to “Israel”, that the armed struggle was the only way forward. The Palestinian Authority (PA), based in Ramallah, chooses the path of “security coordination” and refuses to resist “Israel” with violence and has failed to achieve a so-called “two-State solution”. The PA, of President Mahmoud Abbas, has little legitimacy left in the eyes of Palestinians and has no negotiating chips to bring to the table of any talks with the Israeli side, on top of this, no Israeli ruling coalition will have anything to do with the PA and talks of “two-States”. Now, the answer, following the era of Oslo, which really died with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, is again the armed struggle and this is clearly what we see, as the rising belief, all throughout occupied Palestine.

A regional coalition, to fight for al-Aqsa Mosque, is now developing in its coordination and capabilities, included in which will be; Hezbollah, Ansarallah, groups from within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Palestinian armed factions. The head of the Hamas movement in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has vowed that the war for Jerusalem will begin after Ramadan and that the armed factions in Gaza will be on high alert to thwart Israeli plots against the Palestinian people and Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. 

The battle of May 2021 represents the opening of a new chapter in the conflict with “Israel”, forcing the entire region and beyond to pay attention. Having said this, the questions to now be answered are; How will a regional coalition launch a successful military campaign against “Israel”? When will the Israeli ruling coalition collapse and how will the resistance deal with this? When will the PA change hands from its current rulers or collapse? And, when will the international community begin to start approaching Hamas as a representative of the Palestinian movement and people? The answers to these questions will be determining factors to how the Palestinian cause will once again emerge as a top priority on the regional and international stage. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Mind tricks: Why resistance to Israel and imperialism are called ‘Shia causes’

April 20 2022

The Arab and Muslim street remains firmly opposed to western imperialism and Israel. So their Arab Sunni rulers began calling all resistance ‘Shia.’

By Omar Ahmed

Would Sunni Arab monarchs be able to continue conspiring with the west and Israel without labelling those who resist collaboration as ‘Shia?’Photo Credit: The Cradle

The past several decades have seen the political ascendency of Shia Muslims in West Asian geopolitics. While initially ignited by Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, it was the aftermath of the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003 which accelerated this political shift by paving the way for Iraq’s Shia majority to govern.

A year after US troops occupied Iraq and overthrew its Sunni president Saddam Hussein, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, fearing a growing influence of Iran among Iraq’s Shia majority and their regional coreligionists, coined the phrase “Shia Crescent.” This so-called ideological belt, it is hypothesized, runs from Tehran through several Arab capitals, including Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, and later Sanaa.

The idea has been criticized as it treats the Shia as a monolith and greatly exaggerates the extent of control or influence Iran exerts over the region.

Tehran’s efforts to forge ties with friendly governments, powerful political parties, and militia forces are arguably based on pragmatism and self-interest rather than sectarian ideology. Among the state and non-state actors that provide Iran with its regional strategic depth – and therefore, influence – are Sunnis, Druze, Christians, Alawis, Zaidis, and other non-Shia populations. This alliance is more commonly – and accurately – known as the Axis of Resistance and its fundamental tenet is opposition to both western imperialism and the Zionist project, and a desire for self-determination.

Axis of Resistance

With Tehran at its nexus, this network consists of both state and non-state actors. Notable Shia factions include Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and Afghan and Pakistani brigades.

Sunni Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also considered to be a part of the axis, and an armed affiliate of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades (also known as Saraya), is composed of Sunnis, Maronite Christians and Druze. At the state level are the mostly Zaidi, Ansarallah-led, de facto government of Yemen and the Alawite-dominated government of Sunni-majority Syria.

While not part of the axis per se, Sunni-majority Algeria has also consistently opposed Zionism and could strengthen its ties with Iran, especially in light of growing tensions with neighboring Morocco whose government has recently aligned with Israel.

Traditional western-aligned Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have all expressed their own concerns about this Shia-majority, ‘Iran-led’ axis, and along with Israel have opposed the Resistance Axis. It is due to these mutual interests that there have been several proposals for a “Sunni-Jewish alliance.”

Arab normalization with Israel

This new public alliance tangibly materialized in 2020 with the signing of the Abraham Accords and the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE, Sudan, Morocco and Bahrain (the latter is a Shia majority nation ruled by a Sunni royal family). Certainly, it ended years of speculation that there were indirect, covert ties between Tel Aviv and several Arab states.

However, it is important to differentiate between the policies of these governments and the popular sentiments among their citizens. According to an opinion poll carried out between 2019-2020 by the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), the majority of the Arab world (88 percent) opposes any normalization with Israel. This includes the Persian Gulf: “Refusal to recognize Israel is proportionally the highest in the Gulf region,” the report found.

Nevertheless, last month’s Negev Summit ushered in an unprecedented level of security cooperation between Israel and Arab states and may be a precursor to an ‘Arab-Israeli NATO‘ equivalent intent on confronting the Axis of Resistance, especially over heightened fears of a nuclear-powered Iran, should efforts in Vienna to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fail.

The Palestinian issue

After the humiliating and resounding failures of pan-Arab nationalism to liberate occupied Palestine following the Six Day War in 1967, Egypt lost its position as the leader of the Arab world. This was cemented after Egypt made peace with Israel under Anwar Sadat in 1979, the same year as Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

As one of, if not the most pressing and long-standing Arab and Muslim issues of our time, the Palestinian cause was essentially abandoned by the Sunni Arab leadership, only to be championed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its regional allies. Symbolically, the first statesman to visit revolutionary Iran was Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat who was given keys to what was once the Israeli diplomatic mission-turned Palestinian embassy, as it remains to this day. “We shall liberate the land of Palestine under the leadership of Imam Khomeini,” Arafat declared during his historic visit.

Significantly, during the 1990s, Iran’s support to Palestinians was not merely diplomatic but military too, as Iran has consistently been the main patron of Palestinian armed resistance factions Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), something acknowledged by the movements themselves.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, itself established with the help of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has also been instrumental in assisting Palestinian factions in training and developing weapons capabilities. Early last year, IRGC Aerospace Force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated, “All the missiles you might see in Gaza and Lebanon were created with Iran’s support.”

‘Iranian-backed’ doesn’t make these ‘Shia causes’

Well before the Abraham Accords, there were signs that a regional narrative was being developed to aid Arab autocrats in breaking with the popular causes of the Arab/Muslim world, namely resistance to Zionism and western imperialism.

Two years after King Abdullah’s ‘Shia crescent’ narrative began to be employed, the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war broke out. Although a historic ‘Arab nation’ victory against Israel was achieved that year, in a new public turn, the Arab League and the Saudis in particular were instead scathing in their criticism of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah for what they said was an unprovoked and irresponsible conflict.

We have now reached an epoch, whereby vocal or material support for a plethora of resistance efforts in West Asia is seen as being ‘Shia’ or even ‘Persian’ rather than Arab or Muslim causes. These include the central issue of Palestine, as after all at the crux of it – that is to say armed struggle – it is only the Resistance Axis that now provides support where it materially matters.

The Palestinian cause has not always been a ‘Shia’ cause, argues Hussain Abdul-Hussain of the pro-Israel Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who alludes to the anti-Palestinian sentiments in South Lebanon before the rise of Hezbollah. He claims – a criticism parroted by the pro-west Sunni monarchs – that Iran “found in Palestine a good tool to undermine the sovereignty of Arab Sunni governments” and to win over support from “Arab Sunni masses.” This assessment disregards the fact that even before the revolution, under the rule of Iran’s Shah, Iran’s religious and secular opponents were popularly pro-Palestine and opposed the Shah’s support of Israel.

Who else will oppose Zionism and western imperialism?

In Iraq, there is a lingering threat from pockets of ISIS remnants and legitimate grievances about continuing US military presence, which is likely to continue for years to come. Both of these threats to Iraqi sovereignty have been targeted by “Iranian-backed Shia militia,” many who are an integral part of Iraq’s armed forces in the form of the PMUs. Ironically, these anti-ISIS forces were in fact initiated by a religious ruling from within Iraq, independent of Iran’s diktats.

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, is in Yemen which has been bombed and besieged almost relentlessly for seven years by a US/UK-backed and armed, Saudi-led coalition. Yemen’s resistance to this foreign aggression is led by the Ansarallah movement and its allied Yemeni armed forces. Here too, the Arab Sunni monarchs’ narrative has played a nefarious role, labelling Yemen’s resistance as ‘Shia,’ where in fact they are mainly Zaidis, who are in many ways closer to Hanafi Sunnis and who pray in Sunni mosques. As Iran and its regional axis support anti-imperialism, they are naturally more aligned to the Yemeni resistance, who are almost always now labelled as ‘Iran-backed’ or ‘Shia’ for their resistance against decades of exploitation and subjugation by Saudi Arabia.

For the divisive case of Syria, supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state against the aggressions of hostile states has also been cast as a ‘Shia’ cause, despite the fact that Syria’s Shia community – not to be confused with the Alawites – form a very small minority in the majority-Sunni country. Yet when contextualized as an important actor in the Axis of Resistance, in particular as a transit point between Iran and Lebanon and occupied Palestine, the sectarian designation becomes apparent.

The common denominator for these conflicts is that there is an opposing force to the Axis of Normalization and its US backer. It has become imperative, especially for the burgeoning Sunni Arab-Israeli alliance, for these forces to be deliberately cast as ‘Iranian-supported Shia proxies’ in order to dampen their own populations’ support for popular resistance.

Arab and Muslim populations everywhere would otherwise likely support operations to purge western military interventionism and Israel’s aggressions from West Asia. But say ‘Iran,’ ‘Persia’ or ‘Shia’ and the Arab Sunni elite manage to confuse and quash mass popular resentment of their own malign behaviors.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

‘Israeli’ Operatives in Kurdistan Region Will Drag Iraq into War: Kataib Hezbollah

March 21, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah [Brigades] resistance movement said the presence of operatives affiliated to the ‘Israeli’ spy agency Mossad in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region will drag the Arab country into a military confrontation.

Speaking in an interview with Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV network, the resistance group’s spokesman Jafar al-Husseini warned against attempts aimed at turning Iraq into a launchpad for attacks on regional countries and stated that such bids will exacerbate the existing tensions.

He noted there is substantial evidence that ‘Israeli’ operatives are freely active in the Kurdistan region, and that the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] exports crude oil to the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories.

The spokesman of Kataib Hezbollah, part of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] or better known by Arabic name of Hashd al-Shaabi, underscored that the Palestinian cause remains a cornerstone of Iraqi resistance groups’ doctrine, stating that the forces are coordinating with their Palestinian and Lebanese comrades.

Husseini went on to say that Iraqi resistance forces are on the great march of progress and are expanding their capabilities to defend the country’s airspace.

Last week, the spokesman for Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] said the elite military force will not hesitate to strike other Zionist bases in the Iraqi Kurdistan region if its officials do not dismantle them.

“It is our natural right to destroy any base from which any attack is carried out against the security of Iran and this is a red line” for us, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif told Yemen’s al-Masirah network on March 17.

According to Sharif, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi had on several occasions warned the Iraqi Kurdistan region about the presence of the Mossad base, which was recently attacked by the IRG, and two other similar bases.

“If Iraqi officials do not take action to remove other bases of Zionists in this country while our security continues to be threatened from this region, we will respond without hesitation,” the IRG’s spokesman added.

Days earlier, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq had said the latest IRG missile strike on secret Mossad bases in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region was strictly necessary, as operations against Iran’s security were being plotted and orchestrated there.

Masjedi said ‘Israeli’ operatives used the Iraqi Kurdistan region to plot and launch operations against Iran’s security, emphasizing that Iranian officials had time and again warned the KRG authorities against their activities, but to no avail.

The Iranian diplomat highlighted that the missile attack was carried out in order to safeguard Iran’s security, “and was neither intended to violate Iraq’s sovereignty nor was meant to insult the Arab country and its nation.”

In the early hours of March 13, a dozen ballistic missiles hit secret Mossad bases in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, reportedly leaving several Zionist operatives dead.

In a statement issued later in the day, the IRG indicated that the operation was in response to a recent ‘Israeli’ airstrike on the Syrian capital of Damascus, in which two IRG officers were martyred.

The IRG identified the two officers as colonels Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saeidnejad, warning that the Tel Aviv regime would pay for this crime.

Israel declares state of emergency after largest cyber attack in history

March 14 2022

(Photo credit: Oman Observer)

ByNews Desk

The cyber attack comes a day after Iran launched a retaliatory strike against a Mossad base in Erbil, Iraq

Multiple Israeli government websites went down on 14 March in what Israeli government sources claim is the largest cyber attack in their history, according to statements given to Haaretz.

The ministries of health, justice, welfare, interior, and the Prime Minister’s Office were all hit by this attack. Even the site for the organization responsible for cyber security was subject to this attack.

Notably, the Mossad website also came under attack.

Haaretz also reported that their sources believe this attack was the work of a state actor or large organization, although they have not yet determined who is responsible.

Telegram channels believed to be associated with the IRGC made a post with a single word “surprise” repeated in Farsi, English, and Hebrew. However, as of now the Islamic Republic of Iran has not officially claimed responsibility for the event.

Israel has declared a state of emergency in order to determine if the attacks extended beyond public websites into secure websites as well as infrastructure such as electric and water systems.

Israeli military establishment sources reported that all websites with the .gov.il domain extension were affected by the cyber attack.

Despite not taking responsibility for this latest attack, it is believed that the Islamic Republic of Iran may have likely been behind this in order to retaliate against the recent murder of two IRGC officers by the Israeli Air Force in Syria a few days ago.

Iran publicly took responsibility for a retaliatory strike against a Mossad base in Erbil, Iraq on 13 March, which left several Israeli officers dead and injured.

A senior Iranian security source, speaking exclusively to The Cradle, has revealed that “this operation [in Erbil] sends a message to all countries in the region that Iran is sensitive to the Israeli regime’s activities near its borders and does not tolerate it.”

The source noted that the Erbil strike was not in retaliation for Israel’s killing of two IRGC members in an airstrike near Damascus on 8 March, as reported by various foreign media outlets. He said Iran has reserved the right to retaliate for that incident at a later date.

previous cyber attack on Israeli media websites took place on the second anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces General Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in 2022.

More on the Topic

EXCLUSIVE: IRGC strike on Mossad base in Iraq targets 10 Israeli operatives, issues regional warning

March 14 2022

Sources say the missile attack serves as a message to regional states that Iran will not tolerate foreign military operations on its borders

ByNews Desk

Photo Credit: The Cradle

Three targets are dead and seven others have sustained critical injuries in Iranian missile strikes on a secret Israeli Mossad compound in Erbil early in the morning of 13 March, a senior Iranian security source, speaking exclusively to The Cradle, has revealed.

“This operation sends a message to all countries in the region that Iran is sensitive to the Israeli regime’s activities near its borders and does not tolerate it.”

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) salvo of 12 Fateh Iranian missiles struck the Mossad base at 1:20am, “at a symbolic hour when the resistance commanders were assassinated,” says the source – a reference to the US/Israeli assassinations of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes on 3 January 2020.

“The operation has so far killed three people, two of them senior officers, and estimates show seven wounded, some of whom are probably in critical condition,” he said.

Shortly after the operation, the source says an air ambulance was requested from Stuttgart, Germany, which landed in Qatar due to security concerns. US forces reportedly used a C130 aircraft to transport the bodies and wounded to the ambulance.

The Iranian security source claims that the IRGC operation was conducted in direct retaliation for a 14 February Israeli attack on an IRGC-operated drone base in the Mahidasht district of Kermanshah, inside Iran. “Fortunately, we did not have any casualties, but once the source of this [Israeli] attack was identified as originating from Iraq, [Sunday’s] operation was put on the agenda.”

The Iranian source says Iraqi officials were warned that military operations targeting Iran were taking place within Iraq’s borders – in two official meetings, with evidentiary documents in hand.

He says IRGC Quds Force Commander Esmail Qaani had already warned the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) region about these cases.

The source also confirmed that the missile strikes were not in retaliation for Israel’s killing of two IRGC members in an airstrike near Damascus on 8 March, as reported by various foreign media outlets. He said Iran has reserved the right to retaliate for that incident at a later date.

The source describes the Mossad base in Erbil as “unofficial and hidden – in the form of two villas that had a normal appearance.” Iranian reconnaissance had observed several things in the lead up to the operation; however, the source adds:

“The structure of these two villas had two roofs that completely protected it from 240mm missiles. An explosion-proof engineering roof under a shock-absorbing roof that had two layers under the gable roof.”

The source says that post-operation images confirm this assessment. The building, despite being hit by 12 missiles, maintained its structural integrity.

Iranian intel had also observed, over a period of time, that non-Israelis were not allowed to enter the area and that only the external protection of the area was conducted by “regional security forces,” identified by the source as Parastin, the Kurdish intel security forces. Kurds were otherwise forbidden access to the facilities.

The source adds: “This facility was a place of entertainment for the [Israeli] regime’s officers and cyber-electronic staff based in the region, so there was not much traffic during the week, and we mostly saw their presence on the weekends.”

At the time of the IRGC’s missile strike last weekend, he says, “more than 10 people had entered the facility.”

Iraq does not allow Israeli nationals to visit the country and has strict laws, reinforced last year, that prohibit any Iraqi interaction with the state of Israel.

Russia Warns Washington Is Sending ISIS Fighters to Ukraine

March 06, 2022

Global Research,

By The Cradle

The Cradle 5 March 2022

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here.

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @globalresearch_crg and Twitter at @crglobalization.


Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

Global Research condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Bilateral Peace Agreement is required.


The foreign intelligence service of Russia (SVR RF) warned on 4 March that the US and NATO countries are sending ISIS fighters from Syria to Ukraine.

The ISIS members, who are reportedly headed to Ukraine, underwent special training at the US army’s Al-Tanf military base in Syria.

The SVR also stated that similar extremist groups are being recruited throughout West Asia and North Africa. The militants will allegedly enter Ukraine through Poland.

Video: NATO Too Weak to Face Russia? Scott Ritter on Russian Offensive

The SVR statement detailed the history of the secret operation they uncovered, saying in a statement: “At the end of 2021, the Americans released from prisons … several dozen Daesh terrorists, including citizens of Russia and CIS countries. These individuals were sent to the US-controlled Al-Tanf base, where they have undergone special training in subversive and terrorist warfare methods with a focus on the Donbass region.”

The US claims that the illegal presence of their troops in northeast Syria is to protect the country’s vast oilfields from falling under the control of ISIS.

Neither Moscow nor Damascus believe this official explanation, with the latter accusing the US of using it as an excuse to steal Syrian oil.

However, ISIS fighters are not the only foreign militants to be recruited to join the fight against Russia in Ukraine.

According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, private military contractors have poured into Ukraine from around the world.

“US military intelligence has launched a large scale propaganda campaign to recruit PMC [private military company] contractors to be sent to Ukraine. First of all, employees of the American PMCs, Academi, Cubic, and Dyn Corporation are being recruited. […] Only last week, about 200 mercenaries from Croatia arrived through Poland, and joined one of the nationalist battalions in the southeast of Ukraine,” Konashenkov said.

Both Iraq and Syria have accused the US of supporting and transferring ISIS fighters within the region.

Earlier this year, The Cradle reported that US forces transferred dozens of ISIS detainees, including high-ranking commanders, to Deir Ezzor governorate, which is close to the Iraqi border. This was reportedly an attempt to “revive ISIS” for the purposes of destabilizing a region that had recently been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) with the help of Russian troops.

In August last year, similar reports surfaced after a high-ranking officer from Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) reported that their thermal cameras detected US military helicopters transferring ISIS fighters to different locations around the country.

Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February after responding to the call for assistance by the newly-recognized republics of Dontesk and Luhansk.

Despite recognition of their independence by Russia, Ukrainian armed forces continued to shell civilian targets and to breach the borders of the two republics, prompting the leaders of the republics to formally ask Russia for military assistance.

*

Note to readers: Please click the share buttons above or below. Follow us on Instagram, @globalresearch_crg and Twitter at @crglobalization. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums, etc.

The original source of this article is The Cradle

Copyright © The CradleThe Cradle, 2022

Will Ukraine become a headquarters for ISIS in the world? And any repercussions for Europe?
A world federation of neo-Nazis.. Fatwas, mobilization, misinformation

President Assad Welcomes Head of Iraq’s PMF

March 2, 2022

President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday received Head of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq Faleh al-Fayyad .

Talks during the meeting dealt with the standing cooperation between the two countries, particularly the joint security issues which related to controlling the borders and combating the terrorist organizations existed in that area.

The two sides stressed the importance of intensifying efforts in facing what the countries sponsoring terrorism are doing through their attempts to revive these organizations and the return to blow the stability that was achieved by the Syrian and Iraqi armies on both sides of the borders.

Source: SANA

Related Videos

President Assad Welcomes Head of Iraq’s PMF
Speech of Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh, at a session of the United Nations General Assembly

Related News

Why does Turkey have 38 illegal bases in northern Iraq?

January 28 2022

The illegal Turkish military presence in Iraq is a blatant violation of that country’s territorial integrity. While Ankara claims it is a national security priority, it actually uses this military cover to influence and manage Iraqi and regional affairs

By Erman Çete

Almost 100 years after the Treaty of Ankara (1926), Iraq-Turkey relations remain fraught. Despite various disputes over water rights, territorial violations, unlawful oil trades, and alliances, the overriding reason for tensions remains the problem of Kurdistan.

Today, media headlines across Turkey continue to reflect the nation’s antagonism with the armed groups of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) inside Iraq, a neighboring state in which the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launch military operations with impunity.

But despite the repeated protests of the Iraqi government over these violations of its sovereignty, Turkish presence and operations in northern Iraq continue unabated.

In May last year, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visited the Turkish military base Biliç Hill Base in northern Iraq to supervise Turkish troops deployed for an ongoing operation against the PKK.

Furious about the visit, Baghdad summoned the Turkish diplomatic envoy in Baghdad to express displeasure at Akar’s presence inside Iraq without providing prior notice.

Official numbers concerning the presence of TSK in northern Iraq are unclear. According to an Anadolu Agency article back in 2017, TSK had a battalion in the Bamarni Airport, near Duhok, as well as commando units in Kani Masi and Begova in northern Iraq.

In accordance with Ankara’s goal of unilaterally creating a 40km-deep security belt in northern Iraq, TSK has established new bases in the Iraqi regions of Hakurk and Metina.

One source claims that the number of Turkish troops in Iraq has risen to over 10,000, but a news outlet aligned with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says there are only 2,000 troops, with approximately 500 of them mechanized units in Bamarni, and 400 of them from Bolu Commando Brigade in Kani Masi.

It also claims that there are 130 Special Forces as liaison officers in Erbil, Zaho, Dohuk, Batufa, Sulaymaniyah, and Amadiya. In the town of Simele, Turkish intelligence units are reinforced with new recruits, while military tanks, recently updated by Israel, are deployed in Bashiqa base.

In a rare move, Turkey’s Directorate of Communications published a map in 2020 which showed the positions of Turkish troops in northern Iraq. The map has since been removed.

According to the map, from Zakho to Hakurk in the west–east axis and from Avashin to Erbil in the north–south axis, Turkey has 38 military posts or bases in northern Iraq.

Source: Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, 2020

Bargaining chips in northern Iraq and wars on terror

It is quite significant that pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) news outlets portray Iraqi resistance against the US presence – many of them pro-Iran – as an indirect threat to Turkey.

Moreover, it appears that the US has given Turkish military operations a green light inside Iraqi territory, but attempted to create a schism between the PKK and its Syrian militia affiliate, the People’s Defence Units (YPG), with which Washington has common cause – to Turkey’s detriment.

Ankara, which enjoys cordial diplomatic and robust economic relations with Iran, can be just as opportunistic. According to the US’s former Syria special representative James Jeffrey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had personally told him twice that he too “considers Iran a threat.”

Such expressions reflect a constant principle within Turkish foreign policy: If you have problems with the west, turn to the east to create bargaining chips.

In this regard, Turkish hard power instruments in Iraq and Syria work against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), developing elements of pressure against Damascus and Tehran, and creating new opportunities to negotiate with Washington.

A new era for Turkey

During the 1980s, Turkey stepped into a new era marked by two intertwined developments.

The first development occurred when the Stabilization Decisions of 24 January 1980 changed the country’s existing economic model. The external debt of Turkey during the 1970s had triggered a ‘balance of payment’ crisis. The Turkish bourgeoisie desperately needed both foreign exchange and to transform import-substitution industrialization into an export-oriented economic policy.

Second, the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War created a sense of opportunity for Turkey. Neo-Ottomanism entered the Turkish political scene when the newly established Central Asian and Caucasian republics were seen as ‘Turkic hinterland’ for the post-Soviet order.

Today, among left-wing circles inside Turkey, it is still widely believed that the 12 September 1980 coup d’état was initiated to apply these economic policies.

As a result, the Turkish state re-evaluated its foreign policy in two broad ways: via the economic prism – diversifying export destinations to bolster and transform the economy; and via identity politics, transforming Turkey from a ‘secular’ state and society into a country in which Turkish and Islamic identities were promoted forcefully by the putschist government of the 1980s.

Turgut Ozal, the first post-coup prime minister, and later the eighth President of the Republic of Turkey, implemented these policies to ‘re-orient’ the new Turkey.

Mixed occasionally with both pan-Turkist and pan-Islamist ideologies, neo-Ottomanism became increasingly attractive for Turkey in furthering its economic and political visions.

It is no surprise then, that Erdogan views Ozal as his role model for Turkey. Both figures bind export–growth economic policies with proactive foreign policy adventures.

Along with other neighbors of Turkey, northern Iraq was now being viewed as strategically significant in this new political context. Iraq was the bridge through which Turkey could reach the Persian Gulf. Turkish state and foreign policy were thus restructured along this line in the early 1990s.

The First Gulf War, according to Ozal, was an opportunity for Turkey’s new foreign policy realignments. The president went on to join the US-led anti-Saddam Hussein coalition and began publicly championing the theme of a ‘Greater Turkey’ as the protector of Turkomen and Kurds in northern Iraq.

Although the Turkish army and foreign ministry resisted Ozal’s efforts, Ankara allowed the Poised Hammer force – an aviation unit consisting of American, Australian, British, Dutch and French troops – to deploy in Silopi, Şırnak and operate on Turkish soil.

In the meantime, Turkey continued its armed operations against the “terrorist threat of the PKK,” alongside efforts to legitimize its presence in northern Iraq, which are assessed by the Iraqi government as illegal.

There were two large operations in northern Iraq in the 1990s. In 1995, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched Operation Steel, during which over 35,000 Turkish troops crossed the border.

The second operation, in 1997, was Operation Hammer, and it had two goals: to destroy PKK camps and to strengthen the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) against the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the Kurdish civil war.

The anti-PUK strategy overlapped with the PUK’s so-called ‘pro-Iranian’ stance. This was another reason for Turkey to support the KDP against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and occasionally against the PUK, and it has been the repertoire of the Turkish state ever since.

Alongside irredentist claims over Iraq, Turkey began to exploit the post-Soviet world around it, exporting cheap and relatively high-tech Turkish goods to new destinations assessed as crucial areas.

The tide turned in 2008. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), with its neo-Ottoman figures like former Prime Minster Ahmet Davutoglu, reversed the Turkish course in Iraq. Ankara started to handpick Sunnis to take under its wings, and to develop solid relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Energy cooperation, particularly oil and natural gas investments, were primary motivations for both these governments. In 2004, Turkey’s exports to Iraq were less than two billion dollars, but by 2013, it had risen over 10 billion dollars, and the destination was the KRG, in particular.

Turkish construction companies earned lucrative contacts in the KRG. Erbil Airport was built by Cengiz İnsaat, which is owned by one of Erdogan’s closest allies, Mehmet Cengiz.

In 2014, despite the protests of Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) started to sell its oil through Turkish ports.

The new Turkey makes a retreat

After 2016, however, Turkish policy towards northern Iraq underwent a re-assessment.

One of the reasons was due to domestic political shifts. The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) acquired strong support in the June 2015 general elections, and AKP lost its majority for the first time in 13 years, bringing an abrupt end to the AKP’s so-called ‘Kurdish opening.’

There were strong clashes between pro-Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) forces and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in southern parts of Turkey, which paved the way for a return to the old counter-insurgency TSK tactics in regard to the Kurdish question.

Then, on 15 July 2016, a failed coup d’état triggered a further restructuring of the Turkish state.

Another reason for the change in Turkish policy towards Iraq was that foreign policy failures and disappointments had taken their toll on Ankara.

The Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood’s brief regional ascendence were snuffed out in Egypt and Tunisia, sending shockwaves throughout the Turkish government, and ending the rise of the Turkish model of a modern Muslim state throughout West Asia.

The Syrian government, with its allies Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia, held its ground and the US-backed regime change operation in Syria fell apart.

The so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group splintered into Qatar-Turkey vs. Saudi Arabia-UAE, and started to fight each other.

The outward flows of Syrian refugees heightened tensions within Turkish society, and fueled both anti-AKP and anti-refugee sentiment.

Importantly, the YPG occupation of northern Syria, and its partnership with the US ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition supported by the PKK, created a ‘national threat’ for the Turkish government.

Turkey then set about modifying its policy on Syria. The result was a retreat from the aim of toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the more humble goal of “eliminating the terror corridor alongside [Turkey’s] southern border.”

The paranoia of ‘Iranian influence’

As a result of its hard power policies over the years, Turkey has been denied access via Syria and Iraq to the lucrative markets of the Persian Gulf’s Arab states. These policies include Turkey’s too-cozy relationship with Iraq’s KRG, as well as its economic and sometimes military competition with Iran in Iraq.

Soaring inflation in Turkey also decreased the competitiveness of Turkish goods in regional markets, and the Iraqi government’s protective policies have slowed down Iraq–Turkey trade volume. At the same time, Iranian trade with Iraq began to increase.

Strategic calculations have also played their part. Turkey’s eagerness to wipe out Kurdish militias from northern Iraq’s Sinjar region has caused tensions with both Baghdad and Tehran.

When TSK launched a military operation against the PKK in Gara, northern Iraq, in February 2021, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU, or Hashd al-Shabi) deployed forces in the Sinjar area against Turkish troops.

Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have also been training anti-PKK Iraqi politician Osama al-Nujaifi’s Hashd al-Watani forces in a Turkish base in Bashiqa, near Mosul. In Sinjar, a tacit alliance between the PMU and PKK-affiliated Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) confronted the TSK-backed Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

For Turkey, this confrontation represents an unholy alliance between Iran and the PKK. When Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, criticized Turkish operations in northern Iraq, then Turkish envoy Fatih Yıldız hit back, saying Masjedi should be “the last person to lecture Turkey.”

Ambitious goals, ambiguous future

Today, officially and firstly, TSK claims that its troops and bases are in northern Iraq for ‘fighting against terrorism’ and maintaining national security.

Secondly, as in the case of Bashiqa, Turkey lays claim to Iraqi Sunnis and legitimizes its assets by exploiting the sectarian fragmentation of Iraqi politics.

Thirdly, as long as the US remains in Iraq and maintains its ‘countering Iran’ policy in West Asia, Turkey will present its policy towards the KRG as a counterbalancing act against the so-called ‘Iranian influence.’

It appears that the KRG, and Sinjar in particular, will be the current focal point for the quarrel between Iran and Turkey. As a distant aim, in the event of the fragmentation of Iraq, Turkey would likely explore the annexation of northern Iraq, where it believes it has historic claims.

With respect to the Iraqi government, options against Turkey’s breaches of sovereignty and territorial integrity are limited. Ankara will remain as a big trading partner for Baghdad, with a staggering trade deficit to the detriment of the latter.

Turkey’s deep reach inside the KRG and warm relations with the ruling Barzani family will allow it to use northern Iraq as a bargaining chip with Baghdad in the post-US era – both unilaterally, and for the benefit of its NATO alliance.

Lastly, the recent thaw between Turkey, some Gulf states, and Israel may force Baghdad to accept the Turkish fait accompli in northern Iraq.

In short, Turkish troops in northern Iraq are useful for three things: Influencing the Kurdish question and directly tackling its PKK problem; boosting Turkish regional ambitions; and establishing a bargaining chip with its western allies.The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Iraqi resistance leader stresses factions are independent from Iran, warns of foreign attempts to incite sectarian conflict

January 20 2022

The leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq says that, while Tehran has remained a close ally, the decisions made by the resistance groups are completely independent

(Photo credit: AP)

ByNews Desk- 

During an interview with BBC Farsi, Iraqi resistance leader Qais al-Khazali spoke at length about the political crisis gripping Iraq, and highlighted that the recent re-election of Mohammed al-Halbousi as Speaker of Parliament served as “proof” of resistance groups’ independence from Iran.

“The fact that the Iranian parliament speaker congratulated the speaker of the Iraqi parliament has not affected our positions and [we continue] to reject the election results, and whether or not the Iranian parliament speaker congratulates us has no effect on our positions, and this is proof of our independence,” Khazali told the interviewer.

He went on to add that, in the event of a disagreement in the formation of a government by Muqtada al-Sadr, the Coordination Framework is considering its options of whether to boycott the political process or join the opposition.

Khazali, the leader of resistance faction Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, also spoke at length about the ongoing presence of US troops in Iraqi soil, despite the announcement last year by US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi that all combat troops would leave the nation by 31 December.

In this regard, he said that “as long as the occupying forces are present, there [will be a] resistance,” but also pointed out that “whether we have tension with them or reduce the level of tension is a tactic based on the interests of the resistance groups.”

“I reiterate that our decision is independent of Iran’s decision, the Iranians are allies… and because of our good relations, the Iranians have the right to comment and advise, but the final decision [lies] with us, even about the resistance,” Khazali said before adding: “I say frankly that even if the Vienna talks are concluded, the Iraqi resistance operation will not stop.”

He also pointed out that, over recent months, resistance groups in Iraq and Yemen have reached a stage where they can produce their own heavy weapons, especially drones.

During the interview, Khazali went on to reveal he had information about foreign plans to drag Iraq into a “Shia-Shia war” by taking advantage of the post-election crisis, and that some media outlets were fueling this fire.

The resistance leader expressed confidence that the existence of a supreme Shia authority in Iraq would likely prevent such a conflict. Nonetheless, Khazali believes that, due to all of these tensions, the future government “is unlikely to succeed.”

Since last October, Iraq has been mired in a political crisis over the results of parliamentary elections which saw a majority of Shia parties allied with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) end up with a meager representation in parliament.

Most recently, the leader of the winning coalition, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has been meeting with all political actors in the country as he attempts to form what he has described as a “national majority government.”

The prospective Iraqi government is vacillating between the options of the majority and the opposition

IRG Chief: Totally Defeated Enemies Are Not Safe Anywhere

January 10, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] Major General Hossein Salami said there is no safe territory for the enemies, as “they have been defeated in all their conspiracies and have been rendered helpless, tired, and disappointed.”

General Salami made the remarks while addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday evening, saying, “We are victorious today and this is what the facts of the field say.”

“Today, the swords of the Muslims to fight the enemies have been unsheathed, and [therefore], there is no safe territory for the enemies,” he said.

Salami further underscored that Iran’s missile strikes against US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRG Quds Force, was a “slap on the face” of the US, which saw itself as the world emperor.

“Whose face was this slap delivered on?” he asked, rhetorically. “It was a stinging slap on the face to the United States, which considered itself the emperor of the world and did not stop making threats of tit-for-tat retaliations.”

General Salami also noted that unlike the Americans, “we did not assassinate a defenseless and unarmed commander, who was fighting terrorism across the Muslim world and had traveled to Iraq at an official invitation, with a drone and in the dead of the night.”

General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s world-renown counter-terrorism commander, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and their companions were killed in a US drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US in the country.

Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting the Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

On January 8, 2020, the IRG targeted the US-run Ain al-Assad in Iraq’s western province of Anbar by launching a volley of missiles in retaliation.

According to the Pentagon, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base.

Iran has described the missile attack on Ain al-Assad as a “first slap.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, General Salami asserted that Iran’s enemies have been defeated.

“Depression and despair can now be seen on the faces of officials from our enemies since they cannot advance their policies,” he noted.

“If we had not resisted, they [enemies] would have taken away our identity, prestige, honor, security, and dignity. The United States, the Zionist regime, some European countries, and reactionary regimes in the region cannot stand the Iranian nation’s stability, splendor, and strength,” the IRG chief added.

Iran Blacklists 51 US Officials, Cmdrs. for Involvement in Soleimani Assassination

Jan 09 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Tehran has updated the list of American individuals it blacklisted for involvement in the US assassination of top Iranian counter-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, adding 51 US officials and commanders to the list.

In a statement released on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the United States, by conducting the “callous terrorist act,” acted in glorification of terrorism and in violation of the fundamental human rights.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines that the heinous terrorist act will not in any manner diminish the resolute determination and resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran in following the path of the revered General Soleimani in fighting terrorism and terrorist groups, in particular, the US-backed terrorist groups,” the statement read.

On January 3, 2020, the US military conducted an air operation under Trump’s order targeting General Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport after his arrival. The attack also killed the general’s companions, including Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The following is the full text of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s statement and the name of the individuals freshly blacklisted:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in accordance with the “Act on Countering Violations of Human Rights and Adventurist and Terrorist Actions of the United States of America in the Region”, particularly, Articles 4 and 5, and in addition to the American individuals including Donald Trump, Michael Pompeo, John Bolton, Mark Esper, Gina Haspel, Christopher Miller and Steven Mnuchin and also Matthew Tueller, Steven Fagin and Rob Waller, who were listed respectively on 19 January 2021 and 23 October 2020, identifies and imposes sanctions as set forth in the abovementioned Act on the following persons for the role they played in the terrorist act of the United States against Martyr General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, in glorification of terrorism and in violating the fundamental human rights. The said persons, as the case may be, have taken part in decision-making, organizing, financing, and carrying out the terrorist act or have otherwise justified terrorism which is a threat to the international peace and security through supporting such egregious terrorist attack.

It is reiterated that the United States, by conducting the callous terrorist act, has flagrantly breached its international legal obligations in countering terrorism and terrorism-financing, in particular, the obligation to refrain and desist from organizing and participating in terrorist acts and the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights which constitute internationally wrongful acts entailing the international responsibility of the United States. As such, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in conformity and compliance with its human rights obligations and also duties in combating terrorism and countering terrorism financing, in particular the state terrorism perpetrated by the United States and to ensure the international peace and security, imposes the sanctions as stipulated in the Act on the said persons on a reciprocal basis.

The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines that the heinous terrorist act will not in any manner diminish the resolute determination and resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran in following the path of the revered General Soleimani in fighting terrorism and terrorist groups, in particular, the US-backed terrorist groups.

In the light of the above and taking into account the provisions of the “Act on Countering Violations of Human Rights and Adventurist and Terrorist Actions of the United States of America in the Region”, all relevant national authorities will take appropriate measures for effective implementation of the sanctions set forth in the Act.

The freshly designated Americans are:

Mark Alexander Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Robert Charles O’brien Jr., former national security advisor, Paul M. Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency [NSA] and commander of United States Cyber Command, Robert Greenway, former deputy assistant to the president and senior director for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs at the National Security Council, Victoria C. Gardner Coates, former deputy national security advisor, Matthew F. Pottinger, former deputy national security advisor, Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr., former national security advisor to the vice president, Frank Dixon Whitworth, director for Intelligence of the Joint Staff, Andrew P. Poppas, former director of operations of the Joint Staff, Kenneth Franklin McKenzie Jr., commander of the United States Central Command [CENTCOM], Richard Douglas Clarke, commander of the United States Special Operations Command [SOCOM], Scott Alan Howell, former commander of Joint Special Operations Command [JSOC], James C. Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command [AFSOC], Joseph Thomas Guastella, former commander of United States Air Forces Central Command, David L. Goldfein, former chief of staff of the Air Force, Stephen R. Jones, Jason B.Bell, Andre T. Johnson, Kevin Auger, Jordan Smith, Abishai Giles, Landon Quan, Mark R. August, Bradley Chance Saltzman, Mark Holmes Slocum, Nathan Andrew Mead, Timothy Garland, Staci Coleman, Kurt A. Wendt, Alexus Gregory Grynkewich, Daniel H. Tulley, Rodney Lee Simpson, Allen Ray Henderson, Jason Colon, Brenden Endrina, Tayler Arbaugh, Ryan Kuhn, Jordan Cornelius, Korbin Steinwehr, Antonio Dorce, Charles Seth Corcoran, James Neal Blue, Linden Stanely Blue, Michael Anthony D’andrea, John M. Keane, Reuel Mark Gerecht, Andrew Croft, Nimarta Nikki Haley, John Michael Mulvaney, and Erik Dean Prince.

Iraqi Resistance Group To US: We Can Reach You Anywhere 

Jan 6 2022

By Staff, Agencies 

Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq resistance movement warned the American occupation forces that they are under watch no matter where they are in the Arab country.

“We can expel you from the country and reach you wherever you are present in Iraq,” Asa’ib Secretary General Qais Khazaali said on Tuesday.

He further added: “The Iraqi Constitution forbids the stay of foreign forces and those who allow their presence in Iraq with the support of the government will be held accountable.”

American occupation troops were required to leave Iraq under a resolution passed by the Arab country’s parliament on January 5, 2020.

It was approved two days after the US assassinated Iran’s anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] or Hashd al-Sha’abi.

Speaking on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that although the mission of US forces shifted from combat to advise and assist two weeks ago, yet the personnel advising and assisting Iraqi forces are at risk.

“So clearly, our men and women remain in harm’s way. And we have to take that threat very seriously. We always have the right of self-defense,” he added.

Earlier this week, Khazali stressed that the best revenge for the blood of General Soleimani and Muhandis was the continuation of their path and the liberation of all Iraqi soil.

ٌRelated Videos

Martyr Soleimani More Powerful than General Soleimani

January 4, 2022

By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer

Today, the 3rd of January, the Iranian nation is all geared up to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the martyrdom of one of its greatest generals in history who without the least doubt was also one of the astute diplomats that Iran has produced – and so also several nations of the region whom the martyr inspired.

His funeral and that of his equally brilliant colleague of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] was attended by millions of mourners as the coffins passed through several cities of Iraq and Iran.

Yesterday, millions of Baghdadis had poured into the streets to pay tributes to the Martyrs Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, with the determination to achieve the goals for which the two had strived, including the driving out of the US occupation forces from the region.

Qassem Soleimani needs no introduction. He was a Hammer of terrorists, whether non-state actors like the takfiris, or state actors like the US and the illegal Zionist entity.

Though assassinated in the most cowardly manner by the Americans on the orders of the scoundrel Donald Trump, he continues to wield a growing influence on the Resistance Forces, to the horror of the US and ‘Israel’, which had thought that killing the judicious general who was on a diplomatic mission to Iraq, would remove the greatest obstacle to their devilish designs.

They have been proved totally wrong as Martyr Soleimani looms larger than life today, inspiring not just the Iranians, but also the Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Yemenis, Bahrainis, and all other freedom loving oppressed nations determined to drive the CENTCOM terrorists from the region.

As a matter of fact, Martyr Soleimani is today more powerful than General Soleimani, who had ably guided the Iraqis and Syrians in routing the macabrely murderous US-supported Daesh terrorists and thus saving their homelands from becoming a large ‘Takfiristan’ stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf.

As a sincere student of the school of that Sage of the Age, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini [RA], he had grown up on the battlefronts of the 8-year war the US had imposed on Iran in the 1980s through its agent Saddam of the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad.

He soon evolved into a shrewd diplomat during negotiations and a brilliant military strategist on the battlefields – rolled into one – who through his personal courage on the frontlines, molded the Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians, Yemenis, and resistance units of other countries into formidable forces instilling fears in the hearts of terrorists and their mentors.

This was the reason the dastardly US forces feared him, the takfiri terrorists were terrified of him, the Zionists were frustrated of their plot to dismember Syria, and the filthy rich reactionary Arab regimes hated him for the hundreds of billions of dollars of losses they had incurred in vain in funding and fanning terrorism in Muslim countries.

As commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], his cherished goal was the liberation of holy al-Quds and all of Palestine, which will indeed be achieved, in view of the fact, no less a revolutionary figure that Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh had hailed him at his funeral ceremony as “Martyr of al-Quds.”

A martyr does not die but is alive and receives sustenance from the Lord Most High in Whose path he gave his life, as is evident by the Ayahs of the holy Quran.

This means the blood of martyrs always triumphs over the swords and other instruments of death that the cowardly use in the vain hope of silencing the brave, as was demonstrated by Imam Husain [AS] in Karbala, and as Martyrs Soleimani, Abu Mahdi, and others have shown, by following the immortal path of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad [SAWA].

No wonder that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Sayyed Ali Khamenei has hailed Soleimani as a symbol of hope, self-confidence and bravery and a manifestation of resistance and victory.

Related Videos

شهادة قادة النصر وصناعة معادلات القوة/ مع الحدث
Certificate of victory leaders and the manufacture of force equations
The blood of the martyr Soleimani pumped determination into the spirit of the resistance
commemorates the second anniversary of the martyrdom of the two leaders, Soleimani and Al-Muhandis

Related Posts

FEARING NEW ATTACK, US PULL MOST OF ITS TROOPS OUT FROM AL-TANF IN SOUTHEASTERN SYRIA

03.01.2022 

South Font

Green Berets and their partner force, the Maghaweir al-Thowra (MaT), during a joint patrol mission near At-Tanf Garrison, Syria, April 29, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. William Howard)

The US-led coalition had withdrawn most of its troops from the al-Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria to Jordan, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on January 3.

According to the London-based monitoring group, the coalition took the step out of fear that pro-Iranian forces in Syria or Iraq may attack the garrison with suicide drones or rocket to honor the memory of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, and Iran’s Quds Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, who were assassinated by the US exactly two years ago.

“The coalition kept a number of its troops at the base within special shelters that are difficult to penetrate, and the bulk of the troops withdrew to Jordan,” the SOHR’s report reads.

The US-led coalition also ordered its main proxy group at al-Tanf, the Revolutionary Commando Army (MaT), to deploy its fighters outside of the garrison.

Around 200 US troops and some 300 MaT fighters are usually deployed at al-Tanf garrison. The US-led coalition maintains a 55 kilometers no-fly, no-drive zone around the garrison.

On October 20, al-Tanf came under attack. The garrison was targeted with five suicide drones and indirect fire. The attack resulted in some serious material damage. However, there were no casualties. On December 14, a warplane of the Royal Air Force shot down one of two small drones that breached al-Tanf’s no-fly zone.

US officials believe that Iran or Iranian-backed forces were behind both the October 20 attack and the December 14 drone incident.

The US claims that its forces are present in al-Tanf to counter ISIS in Syria’s central and southern regions. However, the garrison was in fact established in 2016 to block a strategic highway that links the Syrian capital, Damascus, with Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Sayyed Nasrallah commemorates martyrdom of Soleimani, Al-Muhandis

January 3, 2022

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaks on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Major General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaking on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Major General Qassem Soleimani and commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis on January 3, 2022

Speaking on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of former IRGC Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani and former Popular Mobilization Forces commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the repercussions of the US assassination of the two martyrs are still unfolding until this moment.

Two years after the martyrdom of the two leaders and their comrades, Sayyed Nasrallah asserted that commemorating them was a recognition of the sacrifices they have made.

“Over the last two years, there have been major battles that affirmed that the [axis of resistance] was still following in the footsteps of the two leaders, such as in the battle of Seif Al-Quds,” the secretary-general declared.

He urged the countries and peoples of the region to undertake a firm stance on the killer and the martyr. “Iraq must have a stance on who the killer is and who the martyr is,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

“The United States occupied and tyrannized Iraq and committed massacres there before the assassination of Soleimani.”

The top leader attributed ISIS to Washington, “The United States created ISIS to return its armies to Iraq, and it is to bear the responsibility for all the crimes committed by ISIS.” 

“The United States is a historically unmatched hypocritical assassin,” he declared, highlighting the contrast with martyr Soleimani, who he said, “Stood by the Iraqi people and contributed to the establishment of the resistance and provided it with arms, strength, and momentum.”

In a similar vein, he praised Iran, saying, “The Islamic Republic was the first to stand by the Iraq people in the face of ISIS, which was brought upon by Washington.”

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah saw that the security Iraq is enjoying today was “the blessing of the martyrs. Is it fair to compare the criminal United States and Iran, who supported Iraq?”

“It is disastrous to compare the two martyrs who stood by Iraq and the United States who carried out massacres there,” he continued.

Saudi Arabia sent suicide bombers to Iraq

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, “Saudi Arabia was sending suicide bombers and car bombs to Iraq. It sent its youth to murder the children, women, and men. However, Iran sent its men to die in defense of the children, women, and men.”

He also underscored that the Americans asked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to spread the Wahhabi ideology.

The US is responsible for all Israeli crimes in Palestine and the region

“The United States is responsible for all of Israel’s crimes in Palestine and the region,” Sayyed Nasrallah underlined, calling back “Israel’s” doings in Lebanon, such as wars, air raids, and massacres, and blaming the United States for them. “The United States of America is responsible, so how could we perceive it as a friend?”

He also touched on the US crimes in Syria: “The US government killed the Syrian people and plunged their country into a devastating war.” He also emphasized that Washington “wants to turn Al-Tanf base in Syria into a sanctuary for ISIS to threaten Damascus.”

Regarding the war on Yemen, Sayyed Nasrallah said it was an American war waged by Saudi Arabia. “The Americans manipulated the Gulf states during the siege of Qatar to take money from it,” he added.

Touching on the US crimes in Afghanistan, he said, “The Americans committed crimes during their occupation of the country and their withdrawal from it while saying the killings ‘were a mistake’ as the Pentagon stands idle.”

The US forces are fated to leave this region

The Secretary-General also touched on Iraq’s internal affairs by saying, “Tolerating or turning a blind eye to the presence of US forces in Iraq is killing martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis all over again,” stressing that Washington’s forces are fated to leave this region.

“The blood of martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis is crying out to the minds and the consciences in the Arab and Islamic worlds,” the secretary-general asserted, stressing that the head of the snake in terms of aggression, occupation, and tyranny, is the United States, “And we must take it as an enemy.”

Prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash is a hero and resistance symbol

Touching on the topic of the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah praised prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash – who has been hunger-striking for 140 days. He said Abu Hawash was a symbol of resistance alongside the six heroic prisoners who liberated themselves through operation Freedom Tunnel a few months ago.

“There are thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Zionist prisons, and they are suffering to a great extent,” Sayyed Nasrallah underscored.

Commenting on the Israeli occupation building a wall around Gaza, one of “Israel’s” latest provocative moves, the secretary-general said, “A few weeks ago, the construction of the massive wall around Gaza was completed to increase the severity of the blockade imposed on the Strip for the last 15 years,” adding, “while the entire world is standing idle.”

“Today, Palestine is occupied by the Zionists, and the world knows what the Palestinian people are suffering from due to the occupation, the displacement, and the diaspora,” Sayyed Nasrallah asserted.

It was an honor to combat the organizations brought upon by Saudi Arabia

Commenting on the latest crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “We neither violated nor attacked Saudi Arabia. It was an accomplice to the universal war on the region, and we had the honor to combat the organizations brought upon the region by Saudi Arabia.”

He also responded to the latest statements made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in which he described Hezbollah as “terrorist,” by saying, “The terrorists are the ones who sent thousands of Saudi takfiris to Syria and Iraq.”

“The terrorists are the ones holding thousands of Lebanese people hostage in the Gulf and making threats against Lebanon on a daily basis,” he declared while noting that no resignation of any Lebanese minister would change the Saudi stance, “For its problem is with those who thwarted its project for the region.”

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah concluded by affirming that Hezbollah was assiduous toward its internal allies, emphasizing the importance of inter-Lebanese dialogue.

Related Videos

Speech of the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the two leaders, Soleimani, Al-Muhandis and their companions
Imam Khamenei on Soleimani
Evening Bulletin | Martyr Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis .. life and victory

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Assassination of Soleimani, Al-Muhandis created new reality: PMF head

Jan 3 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen + Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net

Faleh Al-Fayyad, head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, confirms that “Iraq will not accept the presence of American forces.”

The head of the Popular Mobilization, Faleh al-Fayyad

The head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Faleh Al-Fayyad, confirmed that the Iraqi people will not accept the presence of any US forces on Iraqi soil.

During the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Lieutenant-General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis at the site of their assassination at Baghdad International Airport, Al-Fayyad said that the Iraqis “remember the leaders of victory,” adding that “we raise our generations on the noble values ​​they carried.”

Al-Fayyad added, “The crowds that came yesterday declared loyalty for those who sacrificed their existence and their blood,” stressing that both leaders “came forward every day for martyrdom, and their lives were all fighting with falsehood.” 

He pointed out that the message of the Iraqi people, yesterday, “was raised to the American administration for its heinous crime,” stressing that the echo of “the crime of assassinating the leaders of victory grows daily, and what happened after that, created a new situation,” adding that “Iraq will not accept the presence of American forces.”

The head of the Popular Mobilization Forces called on the new US administration to “not follow the example of the previous criminal US administration that committed the treacherous crime,” saying that  “the airport crime imposed a new reality.” He explained, “the demand for the expulsion of foreign forces cannot be delayed – and this is what the masses have demanded.”

Related Videos

Victory leaders, the martyrs Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al- muhandis / with journalist Hussein Mortada
A new era left by the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Soleimani and Commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis
The blood of the martyr Soleimani pumped determination into the spirit of the resistance
On the anniversary of Soleimani’s martyrdom, Iranian leaders vow to expel the Americans 02 01 2022

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Popular marches in Iraq on 2nd anniversary of Soleimani and Muhandis martyrdom

Dec 1 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen Net

As the second anniversary of the martyrdom of the two commanders Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis draws near, popular marches were organized in Baghdad demanding the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

From today’s marches in Baghdad

Iraq’s capital of Baghdad witnessed on Saturday popular marches as the anniversary of the martyrdom of commanders Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis draws near.

Al Mayadeen’s correspondent reported that the head of the chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Faleh al-Fayyad, the leader of the Fath coalition Hadi al-Amiri, and a number of different resistance factions and Iraqi dignitaries took part in the marches.

Al-Fayyad said during a speech that the withdrawal of US and foreign forces is a guarantee so that Iraq can lead a dignified life. He asked the Iraqi government to perform its duties by executing the withdrawal so that Iraq would be emptied of foreign forces, stressing that foreign presence will not be good for Iraqis, especially with regards to peaceful coexistence.

Al-Amiri: This school of resistance and steadfastness must take root

The speech of the head of the Al-Fateh Alliance Hadi Al-Amiri on the anniversary of the Baghdad airport incident

For his part, the head of the Fath coalition Hadi al-Amiri said that martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis led the march of liberating Iraqi from ISIS, adding that the school of resistance and steadfastness must be allowed to take root, and Iraq should not stray from this path.

Al-Amiri noted that the price of this blood will be the withdrawal of occupying forces from Iraq, and nothing less than their complete withdrawal will be accepted.

The head of Iraq’s Iraqi Scholars union, Sheikh Khaled al-Mulla, said that Iraqis were victorious against ISIS thanks to the fatwa of Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the sacrifices of the martyrs, and the help of Iran.

Khazali: The blood of the two martyrs created a great nation in Iraq

The Secretary-General of Asaib Ahl Al-Haq, Qais Khazali, said that the blood of the two martyrs produced a great nation in Iraq, from its north to its south, adding that revenge for their blood would happen by forcing out US forces from the region.

Khazali also addressed the US saying that they should have well understood the lessons delivered by the heroes of Iraq’s resistance, highlighting that if they are in need of more lessons, then the resistance and the PMF are ready to give them. 

The resistance and the PMF, he said, addressing the US “will force you out in humiliation just as they did in 2012.”

Related Videos

Mass rallies in Baghdad on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis
Iranian military leaders stress revenge for the blood of martyr Soleimani
%d bloggers like this: