Lebanese Daily Al-Akhbar: Iraqi Militias Train Hundreds Of Operatives Under Iranian Supervision In Anticipation Of Israeli Operation In Lebanon; Threaten 'Strategic Blows' To U.S. Interests In Such Scenario

July 8, 2024

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On June 28, 2024, the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar published[1] an article reporting on preparations of Iraqi resistance factions for a potential Israeli operation against Lebanese Hizbullah. This report is based on the article.

Iraqi Militias Train Hundreds Of Operatives In Iraq And Iran In Anticipation Of War Between Israel And Lebanese Hizbullah

The article reports that according to sources in the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an Iran-backed joint operations group of Iraqi militias, the group has trained "hundreds" of operatives belonging to "various armed factions," most notably the Hizbullah Brigades, in training camps inside and outside Iraq, overseen by "Iranian experts." According to the sources, the training is in anticipation of a "comprehensive war" that may erupt in the region, due to the escalation between Lebanese Hizbullah and Israel.

The sources described that the training has intensified since Hamas' October 7, 2023 Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which triggered its ongoing war with Israel. They added that operatives are training in the use of "new, advanced weaponry" that has arrived in Iraq from Iran and Russia, including missiles and drones.

According to the sources, over ten training camps across Iraq are engaged in training "normal fighters," as well as operatives trained under the supervision of "military Iranian experts," preparing them "fully" and "at the level of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] and [Lebanese] Hizbullah." They noted that operatives being trained in Iran, including from the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Hizbullah Brigades, and Al-Nujaba Movement, were about to complete training and return to Iraq.

Threats To Attack 'American Interests' In Response To Israeli Operation In Lebanon

Firas Al-Yaser, a member of the political bureau of the Al-Nujaba Movement, told Al-Akhbar that the "resistance" continues to prepare for the possibility of the war expanding, training "fighting forces" in "designated military centers." He asserted that the resistance is working on plans "exceeding all expectations" with regard to American interests and possible targets, as well as methods of targeting.

Addressing the possibility of a significant Israeli "aggression" against Lebanon, Al-Yaser stated that the Iraqi resistance could send operatives to Lebanon without considerable difficulty, due to "cooperation" between the resistance arenas. He threatened that U.S. bases in the region would suffer "strategic blows" in such a scenario.

Ali Fadlallah, a spokesperson for the Huquq Movement, which is linked to the Hizbullah Brigades, told Al-Akhbar that if the war expanded to Lebanon, the region would see "broad participation" from all the "resistance axis fronts," and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq in particular.

Fadlallah asserted that the Iraqi resistance is "fully prepared," and understands the "moral and doctrinal responsibility" of supporting Lebanese Hizbullah should the "Zionist entity [Israel] and its allied forces" attack Lebanon. He added that the preparations of the Iraqi factions are focused on "developing human resources and preparing the soldiers," as well as providing technological training on the operation of drones.

Since the beginning of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed hundreds of attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria and Israeli targets. Most recently, the group claimed responsibility for several attacks against Israeli targets, some of which were conducted in cooperation with Yemen's Iran-backed Ansar Allah Movement (the Houthis).[2]

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