Iranian Proxies Step Up Their Role in Iraq

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Phillip Smyth - Well before Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki publicly called for the establishment of popular militias in response to the latest jihadist offensives in Mosul, Iran's proxies - including Kataib Hizbullah (KH) and Asaib Ahl al-Haqq (AAH) - had already redeployed some of their forces fighting in Syria back to Iraq. These proxy groups are working closely with the Iraqi army and Internal Security Forces (ISF). As early as January, fighters from AAH and the Iranian-guided Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) announced that they had sent forces back to Iraq from Syria. Given the difficult security situation it faces, the Iraqi government is likely to become more reliant on these Iranian proxies. The writer is a researcher specializing in Shiite Islamist groups at the University of Maryland's Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics.

2014-06-20 00:00:00

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