Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Quds Force using militants in Iraq – Part 3

Following advances made by the armed tribes and the series of defeats suffered by Maliki’s forces in al-Anbar and Mosul, a number of Quds Force experts and commanders stationed in Baghdad and began evaluating the situation on the ground in various fronts. Quds Force military experts in their evaluations on how to confront the armed tribes reached this conclusion that the urgent and immediate solution available under the current circumstances is to use its affiliated militants such as Asaeb al-Haq, Katayeb Hezbollah and Badr militants that needed to be restructured. Under orders issued by Qassem Suleimani and following the example of Revolutionary Guards Bassij units in Iran, the 9th Badr Corps forces with a newly structured ranks and file were dispatched to the warfronts, such as Diyala Province, to reinforce Maliki’s forces. For this new structure Suleimani called on retired Badr commanders – who had worked for the Quds Force back in Iran for years prior to 2003 – and dispatched them as Badr battalions on combat missions. In this regard former Badr commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, a member of Suleimani’s inner circle, was called back and he is currently acting as Suleimani’s chief of staff in Iraq.

The Quds Force also ordered Hadi al-Ameri to immediately organize a meeting with his associated sheikhs and begin recurring forces for the special Badr ‘Basij’ forces. After holding this session in the 9th Badr office in Baghdad’s Jaderiye district, al-Ameri dispatched all the gathered forces along with Asaeb and Katayeb units to station in battlefronts in Diyala Province. The following area measures taken to this day by the Quds Force with 9th Badr militias to reinforce Maliki’s military forces and the frontlines:
- Following a fatwa issued by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani on recruiting forces, Hadi al-Ameri called on Badr commanders to register all volunteers in their regions. These volunteers, associated to the Badr forces, received weapons and gear from the government after their registration. These volunteers were then dispatched to various training centers along with senior Badr elements. The weapons that Badr militants received in this recruiting were: assault rifles, PKT light machine guns, mortar launchers, 107mm mini Katiusha launchers and 14.5mm heavy anti-artillery guns. A large number of these volunteers linked to the 9th Badr forces were transferred to the orchards of Baghdad’s al-Dora district to finalize their training.
- al-Ameri was appointed by Iran’s supreme leader Khamenei as Suleimani’s deputy and in charge of all military affairs in Diyala Province. All forces, including the Asaeb, Katayeb and Badr units, along with other military units in Diyala Province will be under his command. Suleimani has stipulated to Hadi al-Ameri that al-Abadi and his government have no responsibility in defending Diyala and he is the all-out chief of this province.
- According to orders issued by al-Ameri, a large portion of Badr militants are stationed in Abu Gharib, two Baghdad districts of Karkh and Rasafa, and especially in the highly sensitive regions of Mansour, Kadhemiya and Sho’le. Other Badr units were dispatched to defend Diyala, being very important for Hadi al-Ameri. These units were sent to Ghalebiye, Rashediye, Khalis and Baquba.
- The command of Badr militant groups in all areas have been entrusted to retired Badr commanders who had worked with the Quds Force in Iran for years.
- The Quds Force also called on al-Ameri to use the Badr forces and senior Badr commanders, who had lived in Iran for years, in the fight against Sunnis and armed tribes. In mid-June al-Ameri brought around 250 senior Badr commanders from Iraq’s southern provinces to Baghdad and Diyala, most of them were used to stage attacks against the town of Azim in Diyala that was taken over by the armed tribes.
- Senior commanders and new volunteers linked to the Badr forces were formed into independent infantry battalions and were not embedded with government military or police forces; In fact, they received orders directly from Hadi al-Ameri.

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