Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq Urge Palestinians To Continue To Fight Israel, Express Full Willingness To Assist With Weapons And Manpower

May 11, 2023

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On May 9, 2023, Israel launched Operation Shield and Arrow against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in the Gaza Strip, during which it killed four senior members of the movement from the air.[1]Numerous elements in the Arab and Islamic world responded to the operation, including several Iran-backed militias in Iraq. These groups expressed support for "the Islamic resistance" to Israel as well as full readiness to assist the forces fighting against Israel with weapons and with manpower.

The following is a review of statements published by these militias from the start of the operation:

On May 10, 2023, the Iraqi Hizbullah Brigades militia posted a message on its Telegram channel in which it harshly criticized Israel for harming civilians in the Gaza Strip and asserted that the attack on the senior PIJ members "Will not deter our Palestinian people from the option of resistance and will not exhaust its strength." The militia declared its support for the Palestinian resistance to Israel and added that "the response to this [Israeli] crime must be a hard lesson the price for which will be paid by the temporary entity [i.e. Israel] and its helpers from among the forces of arrogance and the treacherous regimes of normalization which assist it in perpetrating its crimes." The message also promises "not to abandon our dear Palestinian people in this conflict whose end has now become very near."[2]

On May 10, on its Telegram channel, the Faylaq Al-Wa'd Al-Sadiq militia congratulated "the members of the resistance in Palestine" for "the jihadi operations" they are waging against Israel and encouraged them to continue to carry out those operations "without a break because the victory is already near." The militia expressed complete willingness to stand alongside "the brothers" in Palestine and asserted, "We pledge to the Islamic resistance factions that all the weapons and manpower at our disposal await your command, whenever you request them. We are ready and willing." It also vowed, "We won't leave you to fight alone against the Zionist invaders, for we are with you in the trenches."[3]

On May 9, 2023, the Iran-backed Sayyid Al-Shuhada Brigades militia shared a post on its Telegram channel condemning Israel's assassination of PIJ officials in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank. The post said that despite the "Zionist entity's" belief that its "barbaric" strikes will lead to its victory, these attacks only strengthen the spirit of the resistance and bring Israel's end nearer. The group also congratulated its "brothers in the Palestinian resistance factions" for the martyrdom of their fighters.[4]

It is notable that similar statements and declarations were published at the start of the fighting in the Gaza Strip and in the days that followed, by additional elements among the Iran-backed Shi'ite militias in the region, among them Hizbullah Lebanon,[5] the Iraqi Al-Nujaba Movement,[6] and the Houthi Ansar Allah movement in Yemen.[7]


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