The Cradle, July 23, 2023 —
The Imam Hossein Division was reportedly founded by late Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
In a report released by Newsweek on 21 July, citing a document provided by an intelligence official from “a nation allied with” Washington, Iran’s “most powerful unit yet” is currently planning attacks from Syria against both the US and Israel.
According to the anonymous intelligence member, US officials have been briefed on the document, which provides details on the Imam Hossein Division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force.
“The Division is the Quds Force’s most elite fighting force in Syria, and is considered to have powerful and robust capabilities,” the document reads.
The intelligence official told Newsweek that the large drone and rocket attack against Washington’s Al-Tanf base in southern Syria in October 2021 was carried out by the Imam Hossein Division. The group has also attempted to target Israel, the official added.
The division is planning further attacks against both Israel and US bases in Syria, the report reads.
“They are preparing and gathering capabilities in order to be able to cause a threat to American forces in Syria and to Israel.”
The Imam Hossein Division was established in 2016 by Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who was illegally assassinated in a US airstrike on Iraq in 2020. It was reportedly an integral part of the Syrian government’s Russian and Iranian-sponsored fight against extremist groups, including ISIS.
“The Division represents a multi-national combat force made up of thousands of fighters from around the Middle East. Today, the Division’s structure maintains thousands of fighters in the Syrian arena. Most of the operatives are Syrian, although some are from Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, and other countries,” the document goes on to say.
The document says that the group is made up of several components, including a special forces unit equipped with advanced weapons. It receives training and expertise from both the Quds Force and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Newsweek cites the intelligence official as labeling the Imam Hossein Division as “Hezbollah 2.0.”
The report comes just days after a high-ranking US military official was quoted as saying that Russian and Iranian forces in Syria have been coordinating with the specific aim of forcing Washington’s troops to eventually withdraw from the country.
In recent months, Washington has continued to reinforce its occupation bases in Syria.
Additionally, a Turkish newspaper report released on 18 January claims that the US is planning to deploy around 2,500 troops to Syria.