Iraq’s pro-Iranian Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba paramilitary group has threatened the US. In a tweet showing a US armored vehicle at night, the group claimed that “we are closer than you think.” The leader of Nujaba, Akram al-Kaabi, has said the countdown to achieve Iraq’s “sovereignty” has begun, a reference to removing US forces. He also showed an image of US Reaper and Predator drone flight paths.
The US sanctioned Nujaba in March of last year, part of a series of sanctions against Iran’s IRGC and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq. For instance, Qais Khazali, the leader of another Iraqi paramilitary group Asaib Ahl al-Haq, was also sanctioned in December. These militias have tens of thousands of members and are linked to Iran. They fought ISIS, helped form the Popular Mobilization Units, and are now an official arm of the Iraqi security forces. However, they have their own munitions warehouses, and some are directly loyal to Iran’s leadership.
The US killed Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani on January 3. Soleimani helped organize these militias in Iraq, and Muhandis was deputy commander of the PMU, which is also called the Hashd al-Sha’abi, and which consists mostly of Shi’ites.
In the recent tweet by Nasral Shammari, spokesman of the group, a US armored vehicle that appears to be a Stryker is seen on night vision. Nujaba has written text on the photo they claim was taken on February 2. The caption and tweet notes that “we are closer than you think.” The implication is clear: Nujaba is threatening US forces at Ayn al-Assad and other bases. A rocket was fired at the K-1 base near Kirkuk over the weekend. Iran launched ballistic missiles at Ayn al-Assad on January 8, giving more than 100 Americans concussions.
Source » jpost