'Al-Akhbar' Daily: Commanders Of Iraqi Militias Threaten To Resume Attacks On U.S. Bases And Israel If Gaza War Continues Or U.S. Attacks Houthis

December 1, 2023

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

On November 24, 2023, when Hamas and Israel declared a ceasefire in Gaza, the Iran-backed militias in Iraq suspended their attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria, which had been ongoing since the war in Gaza broke out on October 7, and stated that they would hold their fire as long the ceasefire continued.[1] However, according to a December 1 report in the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, now that the ceasefire has collapsed the militias are threatening to resume their attacks on the U.S. forces and Israel.

The article quotes 'Adel Al-Kar'awi, a commander in the Ansar Allah Al-Awfiya' militia, as saying that the attacks against the U.S. – which is "unwanted" in Iraq because of the crimes it commits against Iraqis – will be renewed "if America continues to violate [Iraq's] sovereignty or kill members of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the security forces." Al-Kar'awi adds that if Israel continues the Gaza war, "the response will not be only in Iraq and Syria but also against Israel [itself]."

Also quoted in the article is PMU commander Muhammad Al-Basri, who threatens that if the war in Gaza resumes, the militias will carry out strategic operations. Al-Basri clarifies that these operations will depend on "the American and Israeli moves in the region," and that if the U.S. attacks the Houthi Ansar Allah movement, the Iraqi resistance will renew its attack against U.S, bases.

Asserting that the Iraqi government rejects "the American occupation's violations against the PMU headquarters and in Iraq's territory," Al-Basri also stresses that this government is authorized to give the militias orders regarding the interests of Iraq, but not in the matter of Palestine.[2]

In addition, on November 30, 2023, Telegram channels linked to Iran-backed militias posted a statement from the "Islamic Resistance in Iraq" threatening to resume the attacks inside and outside Iraq if the U.S. insists on continuing the war in Gaza and in South Lebanon.[3]

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