Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia Announces Uniting Of Forces Among 11 Local Factions In Struggle Against ‘Occupiers,’ Vows To Perpetrate ‘High-Quality Operation To Avenge Martyrs Who Fell Defending Jerusalem’

October 17, 2023

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On October 6, 2023, an Iran-backed Iraqi group calling itself The Islamic Resistance - Uli Al-Ba's Al-Shadid (“Those of Great Might" based on the verse in Quran 17:5), announced that 11 local factions had joined its ranks with the aim of working together against “the occupiers (i.e. the U.S and Turkey).” The following day the group published another statement in which it praised “the Palestinian resistance” for its achievements in the fighting against Israel and vowed to perpetrate “a high-quality attack” to avenge the fighters who were killed defending Jerusalem.

The following is a review of statements issued about this matter that were published by the group:

On October 6, 2023, the Iran-backed Iraqi group called the Islamic Resistance – Those of Great Might, released a statement in which it praised jihad for the sake of Allah, asserted that its members “had sold their souls and possessions to Allah,” and wished them martyrdom for Allah in order to gain eternal life in the next world. In its statement, the group criticized Iraqi elements (the reference appeared to be to Shi’ite factions that had joined the Iraqi government) which, it claimed, have abandoned the path of jihad and Islamic resistance and ceased to attack “the occupiers” and to work to banish them from the country. They claimed that they stopped after being seduced by the latter with a plethora of financial temptations, jobs, and various deals.

On the other hand, the group said that a number of Iraqi organizations of “freemen” had decided to unite in the framework of The Islamic Resistance –Those of Great Might, in order to act together against “the occupiers and their treacherous servants.” Numbered among these are the following organizations: Liwa Tha'r Al-Muhandis (Brigade for Avenging [Abu Mahdi] Al-Muhandis); Al-Muqawamah Al-Duwaliyyah (International Resistance); Saraya Thawrat Al-Ishreen (The 1920 Revolution Brigades); 'Usbat Al-Thaireen (The League of Revolutionaries); Fasil Rijal Allah (Men of Allah Faction); Tashkil Al-Waritheen (Formation of the Inheritors); Saraya Awliya' Al-Dam (Guardians of Blood Companies); The Avenger Companies (Saraya Al-Muntaqim); Liwaa Khaybar (the Khaybar Brigade); Liwaa Al-Thaireen (the Revolutionaries Brigade); and Ulu Al-'Azm (The Determined Ones).

In its statement, the group asserted that, “What is coming will be greater,” and added its praise for “the father, the martyr” (the reference is to slain deputy commander of the Iraqi Al-Hashd Al-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Units, PMU, Abu Mahdi) Al-Muhandis, and the “uncle, the martyr” (the reference is to slain commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC Qasem) Soleimani.[1]

On October 7, 2023, following the Hamas surprise attack on Israel, the group released a statement in which it praised the “Palestinian resistance” for its “great victory” over “the cancerous growth in the guise of the oppressive entity.” The group vowed “a men’s vow” to perpetrate “a high-quality operation to avenge our martyrs who fell in the defense of our Jerusalem.” It further stressed that “Palestine is the central issue of the entire Muslim world.”[2]

It is notable that between October 11 and 13, 2023, The Islamic Resistance –Those of Great Might issued three statements in which it declared its readiness to fight against the U.S., Britain, and Israel at the command of the Iranian leader; threatened the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; and claimed that it had made contact with the West Bank Palestinian Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.[3] Earlier in October the group released statements in which it claimed responsibility for an attack against U.S. and Turkish forces in Iraq; expressed support for the Hamas offensive; and threatened U.S. forces in Iraq.[4]

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