Monday, 29 June 2015

Introducing Militant Groups in Iraq – Katayeb Hezbollah

The Quds Force is currently expanding its sphere of influence in Iraq through its widespread network of affiliated militant groups. Senior Quds Force commanders, including Qassem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi Mohandess are in Iraq to organize and utilize these militant groups. Asayeb al-Haq, led by Gheis Khazali, along with the 9th Badr Corps militants led by Hadi al-Ameri, are the main such groups. Here is more input on the Katayeb Hezbollah that plays a major role in implement the Iranian regime’s policy in Iraq.

Katayeb Hezbollah

Katayeb Hezbollah and its forces are associated to Abu Mahdi Mohandess, himself a senior Quds Force terror network leader in Iraq. Katayeb Hezbollah has subgroups including Katayeb Tha’ezhoun, Katayeb Ghaleboun and Katayeb Sadeqoun. However, the most important and organized entity is the Katayeb Hezbollah led by Mohandess.

A portion of the Katayeb Hezbollah militants are stationed in the Baghdad beltway area and currently the main percentage of these forces have been dispatched to Salahadin Province. They are involved in the clashes around Biji and the major oil refinery in this town. Following the fall of Ramadi and militants preparing to liberate Anbar, part of the Katayeb Hezbollah forces were transferred to Anbar Province and the Habbaniya base. They intended to take part in the clashes of east Ramadi. However, when US forces entered the Habbaniya base these units were forced to leave the area and return to the Baghdad beltway.

Most of the Iraqi commanders on the Quds Force payroll, who used to work with the Quds Force for years back in Iran, are now organized in the Katayeb Hezbollah. Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani – his real name being Mustafa Abdul-Hamid Hossein al-Atabi – was known as Mustafa Atabi in Iran, is now a senior commander of this force. Al-Sheibani is a native of the city of Nosseriya in southern Iraq and was recruited by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards back in December 1985. Since the Quds Force used Iraqi proxies to carry out terrorist attacks on Iraqi soil, al-Sheibani was then hired by this force and took part in terrorist attacks in Iraq in the years prior to 2003.

Abu Mahdi Mohandess is currently appointed by the Quds Force as Hadi al-Ameri’s deputy in the Popular Mobilization Force and. He is pursuing all of al-Ameri’s policies and is completely against the militant groups being placed under the command of the Prime Ministry Office. Mohandess is a known Quds Force element and very experienced in terrorist operations. He is known to pursue Iran’s guidelines in the militant groups.

Following the 2014 elections and Maliki being set aside, and Haider al-Abadi coming to power, there were news reports about the militants being disarmed. Thus, Katayeb Hezbollah sought to form a political group. However, with militant forces taking part in the war against ISIS, Katayeb was armed by the Quds Force and played a major part in these operations.

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