IRGC commander advises Iraqi resistance against attacks on US bases: Report

The Cradle, August 17, 2023 —

Iraqi resistance factions recently gave officials in Baghdad an ultimatum for the full withdrawal of US troops from the country.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force commander Esmail Qaani paid a secret visit to Iraq this week, advising leaders of the local resistance against launching attacks against US bases “at this time.”

“Qaani has urged leaders within the coordination board of the Islamic resistance to stop all military operations against the US and the global coalition forces at this time,” Al-Araby Al-Jadeed quoted an unnamed senior member in Iraq’s ruling coalition as saying.

This comes as Iran and the US are pushing ahead with a new round of “de-escalation talks” despite growing tensions in the Persian Gulf. The talks have so far seen the unfreezing of billions in sanctioned Iranian funds and the release of multiple US citizens held prisoner by Tehran.

Wednesday’s report by the Saudi-funded outlet claims that “Qaani arrived in Baghdad via plane on Tuesday. He met with several political officials as well as governmental figures. He is expected to meet with Iraqi PM Sudani.”

The Quds Force leader also discussed “the issue of the Iranian Kurdish opposition parties based in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) and the need for the Iraqi government to follow up with Iran’s ultimatum to disarm those parties.”

Kurdish militias have threatened the Iranian border with Iraq for decades, most notably the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), which was the driving force behind the 1979 Kurdish rebellion in Iran and was supported by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran has launched numerous operations and strikes against KDPI positions in Iraq in response to these threats. Kurdish militants have also smuggled weapons bound for rioters into the Islamic Republic – as former US national security advisor John Bolton admitted last year.

In March 2022, Iran launched a missile strike on the IKR’s Erbil region, claiming to have taken out secret Israeli Mossad bases. Following the strike, a Kurdish official revealed to The Cradle that Erbil is a ‘hub’ for Israeli intelligence activity.

Baghdad signed a border security agreement with Tehran earlier this year, renewing a vow to prevent attacks on Iranian border regions by Kurdish militants.

Qaani’s secret visit to Iraq started one day after Iraq’s National Security Council approved the outcomes of a Joint Security Cooperation Dialogue (JSCD) with US officials “to form a joint high committee with the US-led global coalition against [ISIS].”

Despite this, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani on Tuesday declared that Iraq “no longer needs the presence of foreign combat forces on its soil” during a gathering with several leaders of the Iraqi army.

“We are conducting advanced dialogues to determine the form of future relationship and cooperation with the international coalition,” the premier added.

Earlier this year, Iraq’s Resistance Coordination Committee issued an ultimatum to the government in Baghdad, demanding immediate action against “US violations” in the country, stressing that their patience is not “infinite” and warning that failure to heed their demands would “result in a reaction.”

US troops remain in Iraq despite a 2020 parliament vote ordering their immediate removal from the country after the murder of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and PMU deputy leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *