April 10, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8691

Iran Reportedly Provides Training, Arms To Shi'ite Group 'League Of Revolutionaries' To Target U.S. Forces, Oil Companies, Kidnap Soldiers In Iraq

April 10, 2020
Iran, Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 8691

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On April 8, 2020, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper published a report,[1] citing a "security source" as saying that Iran is providing training and weapons to the newly founded Iraqi Shi'ite group, called "The League of Revolutionaries" to target U.S. interests and harm Gulf interests. According to the report, the militia is trained and armed by Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) and that training includes preparations for attacking American bases, oil companies, and kidnapping soldiers. The League of Revolutionaries is the group that claimed responsibility for the March 12 rocket attacks on the Taji military base north of Baghdad, which killed three members of the U.S.-led international coalition in Iraq.[2]

A snapshot of the report published by Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The report begins by saying that the newly formed League of Revolutionaries threatened to bomb the American Embassy in Baghdad and published a video[3] showing drone footage of the embassy's facilities. The group also said in a statement: "This embassy is now in our sight and at the mercy of our missiles. If we want, we will turn it into scattered dust."

The report goes on to say that the group sparked controversy in Iraq and confusion over its identity, citing an unidentified "security source" as saying that "Iran had established [the group] in order to target American sites."

According to the unidentified source, the League of Revolutionaries started to "recruit hundreds of Shi'ite youth and subject them to harsh military training and maneuvers that simulate attacks on American facilities and the kidnapping of soldiers, in the town of Jurf Al-Sakhr, north of the city of Babel, which is controlled by the Hizballah Brigades, in preparation for targeting American interests and bases housing American soldiers in Iraq."

Iranian Advisers Train Recruits; IRGC Arms Them

The source also added "the group's fighters receive intensive military training on most types of weapons under the supervision of Iranian advisers," noting that they are also receive "training on short-range and long-range smart missiles with a range of more than 500 km [310 miles], as well as courses on how to storm government facilities and camps and carry out abductions."

Concerning the plots of the group, the source further says: "It is also planning to launch coordinated attacks targeting oil companies operating in southern Iraq, as well as harming the interests of Gulf states."

"The IRGC equipped the League of Revolutionaries force with dozens of advanced drones and surveillance planes, whose mission is to collect intelligence information by air and to identify the locations and places to be targeted," the source adds.

The report continues by saying: "The new group, which works in the form of harmful cells that hit the precisely selected targets, came out of the womb of the Hizballah Brigades."

On the goal behind forming the group, the report concludes by citing the source as saying that the group aims to "create a kind of camouflage to prevent Hizballah leaders and members in Iraq from being tracked, pursued, and targeted by American forces."

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