Outlet Affiliated With Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia Publishes Photos Showing Leaders Attending Inauguration Of Hamas Office In Baghdad, Anti-Iran Account On X: New Office To Test Whether Baghdad Suitable Alternative For Hamas Top Leadership In Qatar

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June 24, 2024

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On June 11, 2024, a Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed Kata'ib Al-Imam Ali (Imam Ali Battalions) posted photos show some of the group representatives attending what it said was the inauguration of Hamas' political office in Iraq.[1]

"A delegation from Iraq's Islamic movement [i.e., Kata'ib Al-Imam Ali], including the Assistant Secretary-General, Hajj Yaqoub Al-Zaidi, the Head of the Political Bureau, Muhannad Al-Zamili, and the member of the Political Bureau, Dr. Hussam Al-Rubaie, attended the opening of Hamas' political wing office in Iraq," said the post.

Iraqi Anonymous Account On X Sheds Lights On Mission Of Baghdad Office

Earlier on April 24, "Iraqi Minister," an anti-Iran anonymous account on X, claimed that Hamas was to open an office in Al-Radhwanyia area near Baghdad international Airport.[2]

In a new post shared on June 14,[3] the account wrote an update, saying that "[Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh refused to move to Baghdad completely and said Baghdad is unsafe and he could be assassinated there. Hamas leaders said that if they were forced to leave Qatar, they would choose one of these following countries in which they have popular base, according to them: Kuwait comes first, followed by Algeria and Tunisia."

The account further claimed that the Hamas office in Baghdad will be testing the water to see if the security situation conditions would be appropriate for the Hamas leadership to move to Baghdad in the future.

"The issue of Baghdad will not be closed completely. A small office will be opened, and they will send people from [Hamas's] third or fourth rank, i.e., 'unknown figures.' These people live in Baghdad and wander around to meet the political elites and security officials. They will send a monthly report to the main Hamas headquarters in Qatar in which they will explain the living conditions in Baghdad, the atmosphere and the security situation, and after a year a final decision will be made."

Anti-Iran Online Outlet: No Camp Yet For Hamas In Baghdad

On June 13, 2024, Shafaq News, anti-Iran Iraqi news website, reported that Palestinian Hamas intends to open an office in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The online outlet cited "informed sources" as saying that "over the next two days, a relations and media office for the Hamas movement will be opened in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, with official government approvals."[4]

The source explained that the office work will be limited to public relations, adding that news about establishing a "Hamas camp" on the outskirts of Baghdad are false.

Pro-Hizbullah Daily: Hamas, Iraqi Government Discuss Opening Office

On June 15, the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar published an article about a visit to Iraq by Iran's acting foreign minister Ali Bagheri Kani on June 13-14, during which, among others, he met with senior officials from factions in the country that are members of the Islamic resistance in Iraq. According to the article, one of the subjects discussed was the opening of an official Hamas office in Baghdad for the purpose of PR and the coordination of Hamas activities with the other members of the axis of resistance.[5]

The daily added that "informed sources" confirmed that Hamas and the government of Iraq discussed the opening of such an office in the Iraqi capital.

 

[1] Telegram, June 11, 2024.

[2] X, April 24, 2024.

[3] X, June 14, 2024.

[4] Shafaq, June 24, 2024.


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