Laut Verfassungsschutz haben Extremisten keinen prägenden Einfluss auf die deutschen Corona-Demos

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS JÜNGSTE VS ANALYSE – IN DER MEDIENLANDSCHAFT WIRD SYSTEMATISCH AUSGEGRENZT  & JAKOBINISCH SELEKTIERT /  NICHT SO IM WIRKLICHE LEBEN = DEN LEFT LIBERAL LAUFEN DIE MENSCHEN WEG ….

7 Aug 2020 – NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG – Das ist passiert: Extremisten haben auf die Protestszene gegen die staatlichen Massnahmen zur Eindämmung der Corona-Pandemie derzeit keinen prägenden Einfluss. Dies erfuhr die NZZ aus dem Umfeld des deutschen Inlandgeheimdienstes. Zwar beteiligten sich führende Personen vom rechten Rand des politischen Spektrums an den Demos. Diesen sei es bisher aber nicht gelungen, nennenswerten Einfluss zu nehmen. Führende Politiker verschiedener Parteien und etliche Medien haben die Proteste in den vergangenen Monaten wiederholt als extremistisch charakterisiert. Zum Bericht

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA DUNJA’S  ALLGEMEIN ZENSUR

Unglaublich: Aufruf zum Totschweigen von Demos aus dem ARD-Hauptstadtbüro / BORIS REITSCHUSTER

7 Aug 2020 – Im Theater ist Zuschauer-Beschimpfung ein bekanntes Stilmittel. Allerdings sind Theaterbesucher freiwillig anwesend. Ganz anders Gebührenzahler. Sie müssen den öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunk auch dann bezahlen, wenn sie das gar nicht wollen. Und müssen sich dann auch noch beschimpfen lassen. Auf eine besonders dreiste Art, wie jetzt gerade von Evelyn “Evi” Seibert, der Leiterin des SWR-Hörfunkstudios im ARD-Hauptstadtstudio. Die hat jetzt einen Kommentar zu der Demonstration der Corona-Maßnahmen-Kritiker in Berlin veröffentlicht, der es in sich hat. Ja in dem sie ihre Kunden – die Gebührenzahler – übel beleidigt. Insbesondere wenn man berücksichtigt, dass viele der Demonstranten aus dem Südwesten nach Berlin gereist waren – dem Einzugsbereich des SWR.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS FOCUS : Turkey Starts Tightening Credit as Lira Hits New Lows

Friday, 7 August, 2020 – 10:45 Asharq Al-Awsat

Turkey’s central bank tightened some credit channels on Friday as the lira plumbed new lows and sources said the authorities had signaled that more such backdoor policy steps would be taken to curb a selloff that began two weeks ago.

The currency is down nearly 20% versus the dollar this year, among the worst performers in emerging markets, even though the greenback itself has sagged. The lira fell 2.4% on Thursday and another 1.6% on Friday by 0955 GMT.

weiterlesen / click to continue

Iran watches areas east of Euphrates in Deir Ezzor following recent events, and holds intensive meetings

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS SITU REPORT WESTERN EUPHRATS / SYRIA

7 Aug 2020 – Written by D24

– A source told Deir Ezzor 24 network that an extraordinary meeting was held in Al-Mayadeen city on Thursday, August 6, including leaders of the National Defense Militia and Iranian leaders led by “Haj Morteza.”

The source noted that the meeting was held to discuss the recent events that followed the assasination of Sheikh “Amuttshar al-Hifil” in the eastern Euphrates areas of Deir Ezzor.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : ERDOGAN & PUTIN AS TWINS

MOSCOW AND ANKARA WILL CONTINUE UNEASY COOPERATION
by Anna Borshchevskaya  BMiddle East Institute – August 6, 2020

Putin set a trap for Erdogan long ago, and because the Turkish leader woke up too late to his predicament, he now has little leverage in the unequal bilateral relationship.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NES : AN ISRAELI INTERPRETATION ! – What Really Happened at the Port of Beirut?

By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai KedarAugust 7, 2020 – BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,681, August 7, 2020 / ISRAEL

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion occurred at a warehouse on the waterfront of the Port of Beirut, Lebanon. It killed at least 135 people, wounded at least 5,000, left approximately 300,000 people homeless, and devastated the port region of the city, causing damages estimated between $10 billion and $15 billion. The Lebanese authorities are blaming the explosion on mismanagement by port officials, but there is reason to suspect that it was the result of Hezbollah negligence.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : THE IDLIB DRAMA – KURDISTAN-SYRIA CONTINUES – Full-fledged military escalation looms large in Idlib

Developments in southern Idlib suggest that a five-month truce could soon come to an end with a fresh regime offensive to capture Syria’s last rebel stronghold.

 Smoke billows following airstrikes and shelling on the city of Binnish in Syria’s rebel-controlled northwestern Idlib province on Aug. 3, 2020. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Russian airstrikes before dawn killed three people from the same family.

Metin Gurcan Aug 6, 2020 – AL MONITOR –

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : NEUER  BLM-PRO-RASSISMUS ! „KAUFT NICHT MEHR BEI WEISSEN – NUR BEI SCHWARZEN ! / ETHNO-SEPARATISMUS

Zur Unterstützung schwarzer Geschäftsinhaber führt Google bei seiner Suchmaschine und dem Online-Kartendienst Google Maps in den USA ein Emblem für „black-owned businesses“ ein. Ein Schritt zurück zu einem ethnischen Separatismus, heißt es im französischen „Figaro – 6 August 2020  TAGESPOST  WÜRZBURG

Google kennzeichnet von Schwarzen geführte Unternehmen

Wenn Google seinen Kunden empfiehlt, sich für ihre Einkäufe für von Schwarzen geleitete Unternehmen zu entscheiden, werde etwas als “Fortschritt” präsentiert, was noch vor wenigen Jahren ein Skandal gewesen wäre, so Babeau.

weiterlesen / click to continue

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS INTEL BY MEIR AMIT CENTER / ISRAEL – Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 30 – August 5, 2020)

Overview
  • The wave of terrorist attacks called “raids of attrition” which began on July 22, 2020, ended on July 31. 2020. During its ten days more than 100 attacks were carried out (similar to the previous wave, between May 14 and 24, 2020). The largest number of attacks was in Iraq, which continues to be ISIS’s main arena of activity.
  • Most of the attacks were routine (detonating IEDs, attacking military facilities and camps, sniper fire, executions). However, in Iraq, the Sinai Peninsula and Afghanistan, several were showcase attacks:
    • Iraq: In an ISIS attack on a roadblock in Anbar Province (about 140 kilometers northwest of Baghdad) a brigadier general, the commander of the Iraqi army’s 29th brigade was killed. He was the army’s second high-ranking officer recently killed in an ISIS attack (the commander of the 59th brigade was killed in an ambush on a Iraqi army convoy on July 17, 2020, about 30 kilometers north of Baghdad). In addition, an IED was detonated to attack a minibus carrying Shi’ites inside Baghdad. The attacks provide additional indications that ISIS’s operational capabilities in Iraq are improving.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: Operatives of ISIS’s Sinai Province attacked an Egyptian military camp near Rabia’, west of Bir al-‘Abd (about 30 kilometers from the Suez Canal). Dozens of Egyptian soldiers were killed. After the attack ISIS operatives took control of four nearby villages. So far Egyptian security forces with air support have not retaken the area. ISIS continues using guerilla tactics, including IEDs and abducting and executing Egyptian military personnel. The ISIS-affiliated media exaggerated the attack on Rabia’, calling it a symbol of “glory and honor” for jihad. The attack showed the improvement in ISIS’s operational capabilities and the weakness of the Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
    • Afghanistan: On August 2, 2020, ISIS operatives carried out a complex attack on the jail in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of the Nangarhar Province. ISIS operatives detonated a car bomb and IEDs at the entrance to the jail, stormed the site and exchanged fire with the Afghan security forces for several hours. They freed several hundred prisoners and killed dozens of Afghan security force operatives. The attack showed ISIS’s success in recovering its operational capabilities in Afghanistan after the blows it suffered. Apparently ISIS in Afghanistan poses a threat to the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban, and to the country’s internal stability.
ISIS’s Activity Worldwide
  • On July 30, 2020 ISIS’s weekly al-Nabā’ published an infographic with the caption “The harvest of the fighters,” summarizing ISIS’s activities between July 23 and 29, 2020 [i.e., most of the period of the “raids of attrition”]. During that time ISIS carried out 105 attacks around the globe (up from 42 the previous week). Thirty-four attacks were carried out in Iraq, 16 of them in the al-Anbar Province; in Syria, 28; in the Sinai Peninsula, 16; in West Africa, 13 (mostly in Nigeria); in Central Africa, three; in Yemen, three; in Khorasan (i.e. Afghanistan), three; in East Asia, three (mostly in the Philippines); in Somalia, one; in Pakistan, one; and in Bangladesh, one in Yemen (al-Nabā’, Telegram, July 30, 2020).
  • More than 325 people were killed in the attacks, up from 95 killed and wounded in the previous week’s “raids of attrition.” The largest number of casualties, 117, was in the Sinai Peninsula. The others were in the provinces of Syria (64), Iraq (59), West Africa (48), Central Africa (8), Yemen (7), Khorasan (i.e., Afghanistan) (6), Central Asia (the Philippines) (6), Bangladesh (5), Somalia (4), Pakistan (1) (al-Nabā’, Telegram, July 30, 2020).
Jihadi Organizations’ Activity in Syria
Idlib region
Exchange of artillery fire
  • After a number of days during which the Syrian army and the forces supporting them attacked the towns and villages south and southwest of Idlib with artillery, on August 4, 2020, operatives of the Headquarters for the Liberation of al-Sham fired artillery at forces supporting the Syrian army in the region of Kafr Nubl, about 35 kilometers south of Idlib. According to the Headquarters for the Liberation of al-Sham, artillery was used in reprisal for artillery fired at its forces in Jabal al-Zawiya (Ibaa, August 4, 2020).
Russian aerial attacks
  • August 2, 2020: Russian war planes attacked settlements about seven kilometers northeast of Idlib. At the same time, the Syrian army and its supporting forces attacked the settlements with artillery fire (Idlib Plus, August 2, 2020).

Russian aerial attack northeast of Idlib (Idlib Plus, August 2, 2020).
Russian aerial attack northeast of Idlib
(Idlib Plus, August 2, 2020).

Sending reinforcements to the Jabal al-Zawiya area
  • The media affiliated with the rebel organizations reported that the rival sides sent reinforcements to the Jabal al-Zawiya area south of Idlib, recently a hot spot for clashes between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations. A convoy that included armed vehicles arrived in Jabal al-Zawiya from Turkey on August 2, 2020. Palestinian and Shi’ite militias reinforced the troops, some of them operating under Iranian sponsorship (Khutwa, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, August 2, 2020).

The Jabal al-Zawiya area (Wikimapia)
The Jabal al-Zawiya area (Wikimapia)

ISIS’s activity in the Deir al-Zor-al-Mayadeen-Albukamal region (all claims of responsibility and reports from Telegram unless otherwise noted)
  • August 4, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack a vehicle carrying SDF fighters, about five kilometers east of al-Mayadeen. Two fighters were killed and eight were wounded.
  • August 4, 2020: A prison guard was shot and killed about ten kilometers north of al-Mayadeen.
  • August 4, 2020: An ISIS operative set fire to an SDF vehicle about five kilometers northeast of al-Mayadeen. The vehicle burned to the ground..
  • August 2, 2020: ISIS operatives captured an SDF fighter about ten kilometers northeast of Deir al-Zor. The fighter was executed.
  • August 2, 2020: ISIS operatives captured an SDF investigator tens of kilometers northwest of Deir al-Zor. He was interrogated and executed.
  • August 2, 2020: An SDF vehicle was attacked with machine guns about 20 kilometers southeast of al-Mayadeen. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • August 2, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack an SDF vehicle about 25 kilometers north of Albukamal. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • August 1, 2020: An SDF intelligence agent was attacked with machine guns and killed about 20 kilometers north of al-Mayadeen.
  • August 1, 2020: ISIS operatives captured and executed three SDF fighters near the Conoco gas field, about ten kilometers east of Deir al-Zor.
  • July 30, 2020: An “infidel” was shot and killed about ten kilometers north of al-Mayadeen.
  • July 30, 2020: An SDF roadblock was attacked with machine guns about 20 kilometers southeast of al-Mayadeen. Two SDF fighters were wounded.
  • July 29, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack an SDF vehicle about five kilometers east of al-Mayadeen. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • July 29, 2020: A hand grenade was thrown at a tanker bringing crude oil for the Syrian regime about ten kilometers southeast of Deir al-Zor. The tanker belonged to al-Katraji, a member of the Syrian parliament and commander of the National Defense Forces.
  • July 29, 2020: SDF fighters were attacked with machine guns about 20 kilometers southeast of al-Mayadeen. One fighter was killed and another was wounded.
  • July 28, 2020: Shots were fired at two SDF fighters about 20 kilometers north of al-Mayadeen. One fighter was killed and the other was wounded.
ISIS’s activity in the al-Sukhnah-Palmyra region (the Syrian desert) (all information and claims of responsibility from Telegram)
  • August 2, 2020: ISIS operatives attacked Syrian army soldiers in the al-Sukhnah desert about 60 kilometers northeast of Palmyra. Three soldiers were killed, and weapons and ammunition were seized.
  • August 1, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack a Syrian army vehicle in the al-Sukhnah desert. The passengers were injured.
ISIS’s activity in northern Syria
  • July 30, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack an SDF vehicle at Manbij, northeast of Aleppo. The passengers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 30, 2020)
  • July 28, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack an SDF vehicle on a bridge about 25 kilometers northeast of Manbij. Three passengers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
The Iraqi Arena

Map of the Iraqi provinces
Map of the Iraqi provinces

Attack on Shi’ite civilians in Baghdad
  • On July 29, 2020, a minibus was attacked an IED in the region of Bab al-Sharqi in the center of Baghdad. The Iraqi media reported that two people were killed in the attack and five were wounded (al-Sumaria, July 29 and August 2, 2020). ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Its announcement said it had detonated an IED to attack a minibus carrying Shi’ite passengers in the region of Bab al-Sharqi, and that five Shi’ites had been killed or wounded (Telegram, July 29, 2018).

The minibus attacked by ISIS (al-Sumaria, July 29, 2020).
The minibus attacked by ISIS (al-Sumaria, July 29, 2020).

  • The Iraqi media reported that following intelligence information acquired by the Iraqi national security apparatus, the person responsible for the attack on the minibus had been detained within 24 hours. Equipment was found in his hiding place which had been used to manufacture the IED, as well as other evidence linking him to the attack (al-Sumaria, August 2, 2020).
Other Attacks for Which ISIS Claimed Responsibility
Diyala Province
  • July 29, 2020: An Iraqi commando was shot and killed by sniper fire west of Khanaqin (about 100 kilometers northeast of Baqubah). In addition, an IED was detonated to attack an Iraqi army vehicle in the same location. The passengers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 30, 2020).
Al-Anbar Province
Iraqi army brigade commander killed
  • On July 28, 2020 the joint operational headquarters of the Iraqi chief of staff reported the death of Brigadier General Ahmed Abd al-Wahid Muhammad al-Lami, commander of the 29th brigade in the 7th infantry division. A lieutenant was also killed and two soldiers were wounded. The attack was carried out in the evening at a roadblock in the region of Hit, about 140 kilometers northwest of Baghdad (al-Sumaria, July 28, 2020).

Brigadier General Ahmed Abd al-Wahid Muhammad al-Lami, killed by ISIS (Akhbar al-Araq, July 28, 2018).
Brigadier General Ahmed Abd al-Wahid Muhammad al-Lami, killed by ISIS
(Akhbar al-Araq, July 28, 2018).

  • According to claim of responsibility, an Iraqi army soldier had been shot and killed by sniper fire at a roadblock near the city of Hit. A supporting force that arrived at the site was also attacked by sniper fire. Four soldiers were killed, among them a brigade commander, and three soldiers were wounded (Telegram, July 29, 2020).

It was the second time during the past two weeks that brigade commanders in the Iraqi army were killed in ISIS attacks.[1] The deaths of the two commanders was probably a blow to the morale of the Iraqi army and Iraqi regime, and proved the improvement of ISIS’s operational capabilities in the Iraqi arena.

Other ISIS attacks in al-Anbar Province (all claims of responsibility and information from Telegram)
  • August 3, 2020: A limpet charge was detonated to attack the vehicle of an intelligence officer of the Popular Mobilization in Fallujah. The officer was killed.
  • August 2, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack an Iraqi army armored vehicle west of al-Ramadi, about 90 kilometers west of Baghdad. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • July 30, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack an Iraqi army armored vehicle west of al-Ramadi. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • July 30, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack an Iraqi army armored vehicle near the city of Hit. Three soldiers were wounded.
  • July 29, 2020: A limpet charge was detonated to attack the vehicle of a Popular Mobilization fighter about ten kilometers north of Fallujah. The fighter was killed.
  • July 28, 2020: ISIS operatives attacked an Iraqi army command post near the Iraqi-Saudi Arabian border, killing one soldier and wounding another. The post was damaged.
  • July 28, 2020: ISIS operatives ambushed an Iraqi army vehicle near the Iraqi-Saudi Arabian border, killing an officer and a soldier.
  • July 28, 2020: ISIS operatives attacked an Iraqi army command post near the Iraqi-Jordanian border. One soldier was killed and three were wounded. The post was damaged.
Salah al-Din Province (all claims of responsibility and information from Telegram)
  • July 31, 2020: ISIS operatives raided an Iraqi federal police compound about ten kilometers northwest of Samara. Six policemen were killed or wounded.
  • July 30, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack the Popular Mobilization operative responsible for explosives engineering, about ten kilometers north of the center of Tikrit. The operative was killed
  • July 29, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack a Popular Mobilization vehicle north of Baiji, about 200 kilometers northwest of Baghdad. One fighter was killed and others were wounded.
  • July 28, 2018: IEDs were detonated inside the home of a Tribal Mobilization fighter about ten kilometers north of the center of Tikrit. The house was completely destroyed.
Kirkuk Province
  • July 30, 2020: An IED was detonated to attack a Tribal Mobilization vehicle about 35 kilometers southwest of Kirkuk. Two fighter were wounded (Telegram, July 30, 2020).
  • July 27, 2020: ISIS operatives raided a compound of the oil facilities’ police and fired machine guns near the Khabbaz oil field, about 30 kilometers northwest of Kirkuk, killing one policeman (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
Iraqi security forces’ counterterrorism activities
Diyala Province
  • August 2, 2020: The Iraqi security forces, along with the counterterrorism unit, invaded a village where an ISIS network operated (about 35 kilometers northwest of Baqubah). Four ISIS operatives were detained. They confessed they were planning to carry out attacks during Eid al-Adha (al-Sumaria, August 2, 2020).
Al-Anbar Province
  • August 2, 2020: The Iraqi army carried out a search about 20 kilometers north of Hit. They found five IEDs placed by ISIS operatives (Facebook page of the Iraqi defense ministry, August 2, 2020).
  • August 1, 2020: Iraqi security found a weapons warehouse used by ISIS operatives about 20 kilometers east of al-Ramadi. They found 50 artillery shells prepared for turning into IEDs. They were supposed to be used in terrorist attacks during Eid al-Adha (al-Sumaria, August 1, 2020).
Kirkuk Province
  • July 31, 2020: The Iraqi security forces, with support from the Iraqi air force, attacked concentrations of ISIS operatives about 30 kilometers south of Kirkuk. They destroyed vehicles used by ISIS operatives in attacks, as well as a tanker that brought oil to ISIS squads (al-Sumaria, July 31, 2020).
The Sinai Peninsula

Kataeb Hezbollah: Profile of a Shiite-Iraqi militia handled by the Qods Force to promote Iranian interests in Iraq (Full Version)

Emblem of Kataeb Hezbollah: Above the hand holding a rifle, which rises from a map of Iraq, there appears a Quranic verse, “Fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them” (Surat At-Tawbah, 9, Verse 12, Sahih International translation). The emblem draws its inspiration from the emblems of the Qods Force and the Lebanese Hezbollah (see below).

Emblem of Kataeb Hezbollah: Above the hand holding a rifle, which rises from a map of Iraq, there appears a Quranic verse, “Fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them” (Surat At-Tawbah, 9, Verse 12, Sahih International translation). The emblem draws its inspiration from the emblems of the Qods Force and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

 Overview

Kataeb Hezbollah (“Hezbollah Brigades”) is a radical Shiite militia of a clearly anti-American nature with a Khomeinist ideology. It was established by the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in 2007 in southern Iraq with the objective of fighting against the US army and ousting it from Iraq. It is the most prominent among the Shiite militias handled by Iran, prioritized in military and financial support from the IRGC’s Qods Force.[1] Kataeb Hezbollah played a key role in fighting against the United States army in Iraq from its establishment until 2011. After the US army left Iraq, the Qods Force found other objectives for Kataeb Hezbollah and continues to handle it to promote Iran’s strategic goals in Iraq and Syria. In the ITIC’s assessment, Kataeb Hezbollah is currently handled by the Qods Force first and foremost to promote the objective of removing the US army from Iraq unilaterally while disrupting the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the US.

Operatives of Kataeb Hezbollah carrying the photo of Ayatollah Khomeini in a military parade on “World Jerusalem Day” (Iraqi News Agency, November 13, 2018)     Operatives of Kataeb Hezbollah carrying a photo of Ayatollah Khomeini, expressing their loyalty to Iran and the Khomeinist ideology of the Rule of the Jurisprudent (Kataeb Hezbollah website).
Right: Operatives of Kataeb Hezbollah carrying a photo of Ayatollah Khomeini, expressing their loyalty to Iran and the Khomeinist ideology of the Rule of the Jurisprudent (Kataeb Hezbollah website). Left: Operatives of Kataeb Hezbollah carrying the photo of Ayatollah Khomeini in a military parade on “World Jerusalem Day” (Iraqi News Agency, November 13, 2018)
  • Iraq was and has remained a very important arena in Iran’s regional policy and a major pillar in its concept of national security[3]At the center of Iran’s strategic goals in Iraq are compromising US political influence and putting an end to its military presence and political influence in Iraq; strengthening the Iranian influence on the Iraqi government and transforming Iraq into a state with Iranian orientation; increasing Iranian influence among the Shiite sect in Iraq while reducing the role of the United States and the International Coalition in the campaign against ISIS; additional goals are weakening ISIS by combined action of the Shiite militias and the Iraqi security forces; weakening the national Iraqi Shi’a, which is reluctant to accept Iranian dictates; securing the overland supply route between Iran and Syria, which passes through Iraq (“the overland corridor”); and using the Shiite militias to strengthen the “Axis of Resistance” led by Iran, including by using Iraqi Shiite militias to support the Assad regime.
  • Kataeb Hezbollah and the other Shiite militias are perceived by the Iranians as proxies used to promote the above strategic goals while refraining from direct involvement or provoking measures which may implicate Iran and the Shiite militias in a direct confrontation with the United States. Handling Kataeb Hezbollah and other Shiite militias creates inherent tension between Iran and its militias on the one hand, and other elements in the Iraqi government and the Shiite sect in Iraq striving to preserve Iraq’s independence and sovereignty, on the other.

Emblem of Kataeb Hezbollah: Above the hand holding a rifle, which rises from a map of Iraq, there appears a Quranic verse, “Fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them” (Surat At-Tawbah, 9, Verse 12, Sahih International translation). The emblem draws its inspiration from the emblems of the Qods Force and the Lebanese Hezbollah (see below).
Emblem of Kataeb Hezbollah: Above the hand holding a rifle, which rises from a map of Iraq, there appears a Quranic verse, “Fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them” (Surat At-Tawbah, 9, Verse 12, Sahih International translation). The emblem draws its inspiration from the emblems of the Qods Force and the Lebanese Hezbollah (see below).

  • Kataeb Hezbollah was established by Jamal Ja’far Mohammad Ali Ibrahimi, AKA Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a Shiite Iraqi with an extensive history of terrorist activity (he was involved in a series of terrorist attacks in Kuwait, which were carried out by the Lebanese Hezbollah as part of an Iranian terrorist campaign). Following his terrorist activity in Kuwait, he fled to Iran, where he stayed for 20 years, and then came back to Iraq after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. During the Iraq War, he established Kataeb Hezbollah with the handling and support of the Qods Force. Kataeb Hezbollah’s “specialty” was planting deadly roadside charges along the roads used by the American forces and firing rockets causing the US army many casualties which precipitated its departure from Iraq (2011). Kataeb Hezbollah was perceived by the Americans as the most dangerous anti-American and pro-Iranian among the Shiite militias operating in Iraq.
  • Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis continued to serve as Kataeb Hezbollah’s commander even after the US forces left Iraq on 2011. In June 2014, he was appointed deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)an umbrella framework of dozens of Shiite militias, some operating under Iranian sponsorship, others independent or loyal to Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the supreme religious authority of the Shiites in Iraq (even though formally, the PMF is subordinate to the Iraqi government). The background for the establishment of the PMF was ISIS’s takeover of Mosul and its threat to Baghdad at that time. This led to a religious ruling issued by Ayatollah Ali Sistani, calling on the Iraqi residents to embark on jihad against ISIS. Thus, he actually granted internal Iraqi legitimacy to the establishment of the PMF and the existence of the armed Shiite militias. Until he was killed, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was the dominant figure in the PMF, while the formal commander, Falih al-Fayyad, served as a figurehead.
  • On January 2, 2020, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis met his death in a targeted killing by a US aircraft. His friend (and handler) Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani was killed along with him. Al-Muhandis was replaced as commander of Kataeb Hezbollah by Ahmad al-Mohammadawi (Abu Fadak), one of the founders of Kataeb Hezbollah who had held a series of military and political positions in the organization. On February 26, 2020, he was included in the US terror list and was designated as an international terrorist operative due to his involvement in terrorist attacks against American forces and innocent Iraqi civilians (previously, in 2009, Kataeb Hezbollah was designated as a terrorist organization). It appears that so far, Al-Mohammadawi has not been formally appointed as deputy commander of the PMF due to internal conflicts between the pro-Iranian militias and the followers of Ayatollah Sistani.

Kataeb Hezbollah Commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis (left) and Qassem Soleimani (right). The two were very close until they met their death in a targeted killing by the US (Al-Arabiya TV, December 30, 2019).
Kataeb Hezbollah Commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis (left) and Qassem Soleimani (right). The two were very close until they met their death in a targeted killing by the US
(Al-Arabiya TV, December 30, 2019).

  • Main characteristics of Kataeb Hezbollah:
    • The military wing of Kataeb Hezbollah includes three brigade frameworks numbering about 9,000-10,000 fighters. Most of the fighters are deployed in Iraq or operate against ISIS as part of the PMF. Some of them are deployed in Syria (mainly in the Albukamal area).
    • The funding for the activity of Kataeb Hezbollah’s military wing comes in part from the Iraqi government, through the PMF. Another part of the funding comes directly from Iran and is estimated at several millions of US dollars per month.
    • Kataeb Hezbollah has an extensive network of civilian foundations, according to the model implemented by Iran in the Lebanese Hezbollah (albeit on a smaller scale). This network includes media infrastructure, religious foundations, women’s foundations, a student wing, and a youth movement.
    • Kataeb Hezbollah has maintained close relations with the Lebanese Hezbollah ever since Kataeb Hezbollah’s establishment (2007). The relations between the two organizations find expression, inter alia, in the assistance provided by operatives of the Lebanese Hezbollah for training operatives of Kataeb Hezbollah (and other Iranian-sponsored Shiite militias).
    • Kataeb Hezbollah adopted the Iranian ideology of the rule of the jurisprudent and nurtures the personality cult of Ayatollah Khomeini and the current Iranian leader Khamenei. At the same time, they also use Iraqi-Shiite trappings in order to rebut allegations that they are an Iranian branch serving Iran’s interests.

An examination of Kataeb Hezbollah’s patterns of activity in the last decade indicates that the organization has been employed by Iran as the main tool to promote Iran’s strategic goals in Iraq. Thus, for instance, Kataeb Hezbollah played a major role in the brutal suppression of the Shiite protest against the Iraqi government in late 2019; it was the main force in a violent demonstration in front of the US Embassy in Baghdad, during which the Embassy compound was damaged (December 31, 2019). In addition, it participated in the fighting in Syria supporting the Syrian regime, and joined forces in the fighting against ISIS in western and northern Iraq (as part of the PMF, the umbrella framework of the Shiite militias). Kataeb Hezbollah constitutes a major force of the Shiite militias securing the border area between Iraq and Syria in the Al-Qaim-Albukamal region, considered strategically important for the Iranians.

US Embassy wall set on fire (YouTube, December 31, 2019)   Kataeb Hezbollah’s flag waving above the US Embassy wall (Baghdad al-Youm, December 31, 2019).
Right: Kataeb Hezbollah’s flag waving above the US Embassy wall (Baghdad al-Youm, December 31, 2019). Left: US Embassy wall set on fire (YouTube, December 31, 2019)
  • After the killing of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, Kataeb Hezbollah (and other Shiite militias handled by Iran) launched a threat campaign against the United States, which was accompanied by sporadic rocket fire at American bases and facilities without formally claiming responsibility. The campaign was intended to prevent Iraqi-American talks on the manner of departure of the US army from Iraq, and bring about a unilateral departure of the US army from Iraq without an American-Iraqi agreement. Kataeb Hezbollah was the main Shiite militia launching rockets at bases of US and International Coalition soldiers and facilities (including the Taji base north of Baghdad, Baghdad’s international airport, and the “Green Zone” in central Baghdad[3]). The rocket fire forced the Americans to evacuate several bases and divert part of their attention and efforts to cope with Iran and the Shiite militias at the expense of fighting against ISIS.
  • In the second half of June 2020, there were several shooting incidents targeting American/Western sites in the Baghdad region and the Taji base. In the ITIC’s assessment, Kataeb Hezbollah was the main Shiite militia behind the rocket fire, acting on orders from Iran, with the purpose of disrupting the strategic dialogue between the US and Iraq, which is to determine the future of American presence in Iraq. These firing incidents with no casualties took place without any claim of responsibility on the part of Kataeb Hezbollah or any other Shiite militia in order not to trigger fierce American responses against either Iran or the Shiite militias in Iraq.
  • Following those incidents of rocket fire, on June 25, 2020, a force of the Iraqi government counterterrorism unit raided the Kataeb Hezbollah headquarters in southern Baghdad. Fourteen Kataeb Hezbollah operatives were reportedly detained, to be released four days later. The raid was intended to convey a threatening message to Kataeb Hezbollah, with the purpose of making them stop firing rockets at the American bases or facilities. Kataeb Hezbollah responded with threats against Iraqi Prime Minister Mostafa al-Kazimi and a statement that their armed activity in Iraq “is totally legitimate.” However, the power struggle between Iraqi sovereignty and Kataeb Hezbollah and the other Shiite militias working to promote the Iranian interests is far from over.
The structure of the study
  • The study includes the following sections:
    • Overview
    • Historical background: the period of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis
    • Kataeb Hezbollah’s ideology
    • Profile of the Kataeb Hezbollah organization:
      • The military infrastructure
      • Kataeb Hezbollah’s leadership
      • Funding the organization
      • The political support in the internal Iraqi arena
    • The civilian infrastructure:
      • Overview
      • Religious system
      • Women’s institutions
      • Dissemination of studies and articles
      • Student wing
      • Scouts movement
    • Media infrastructure:
      • Overview
      • Al-Ittijah Channel
      • Website
      • Social media
      • Combat Information Unit
      • Other media platforms not directly subordinate to Kataeb Hezbollah
    • Collaboration with the Lebanese Hezbollah
      • Support of the Lebanese Hezbollah
      • Resemblance between the emblems
    • Milestones in Kataeb Hezbollah’s activity in the last decade
      • Fighting in northern Syria against the rebel organizations
      • Fighting against ISIS as part of the PMF
      • Securing the Iraqi-Syrian border region
      • Suppressing Shiite protest against the Iraqi government
      • Violent demonstration in front of the US Embassy
      • Threat campaign against the US and the Iraqi government
      • Rocket fire at American bases and facilities
      • Exerting pressure on the US during the strategic dialogue
    • Preemptive operation of the Iraqi government
      • Overview
      • Kataeb Hezbollah’s response
      • Iranian response

« neuere Artikel / next articles   ältere Artikel / previous articles »