Kataib Hezbollah Announces Axis of Resistance Meeting in Tehran

What to Know:

In an official release, the Iran-backed Shia militia Kataib Hezbollah announced that its Secretary-General, Abu Hussein Al-Hamidawi, met with Iraqi leaders of the Axis of Resistance in Tehran, Iran. The “Axis of Resistance” is an umbrella term used to described pro-Iranian factions, such as Hezbollah, Kataib Hezbollah, the Houthis, but in this case it is referring to various other Iran-backed militia forces in Iraq and also Syria as well.

The Statement:

The statement gave three main points:

  • “The efforts of the Islamic Resistance are focused on defending the oppressed peoples and protecting the nation’s gains. In doing so, it takes into account the timing, interacts with the basic challenges, and manages its decisions with wisdom and deliberation. It is most knowledgeable of its people, and does not allow the politicized and the weak to interfere in its affairs.”
  • “Suspending military operations is not the end of the matter, and the resistance can rely on its self-management capabilities for a long-term battle.”
  • “The performance of the people of Iraq in the battle to support Gaza must be effective and distinctive, to be consistent with what our ancestors did to the Jews throughout history. The victory of liberation movements is in the interest of anti-imperialist forces, especially in West Asia and North Africa.”

What Does this Mean?

Kataib Hezbollah is one of the leading groups in the Islamic Resistance of Iraq, which is another umbrella organization of Iran-backed Shia militias that have been responsible for over 150 rocket and drone attacks against American forces in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan in support of Hamas (Iran and its proxy forces view Israel and the United States as a common enemy). The attacks reached a critical point when a drone strike against the T-22 outpost in Jordan killed three American soldiers, marking the first direct fatalities since attacks began. Days later and amid a pause in attacks, the United States responded with a retaliatory strike campaign against militia targets and leadership in Iraq and Syria.

Immediately following the strikes, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq announced a full resumption of attacks against American forces, calling on “our brothers in jihad to join the ranks of the resistance, to firm their matter to actively participate in expelling the occupation at this historical stage for Iraq and the region.” However, attacks against American forces never picked up. Instead, militia forces shifted gears and began attacks against Kurdish positions in Syria, as well as attempting carrying out attacks against Israel itself.

This statement appears to be commenting on the lack of attacks since American retaliation, suggesting that future attacks may be conducted as such operations must take into account “timing.” The primary goal of Kataib Hezbollah, as well as Iran, is to fully expel American forces from the region and to further establish Iranian influence. With official talks underway about the eventual withdrawal of Coalition forces from Iraq, Kataib Hezbollah might be weighing its options as to either conduct new attacks to apply pressure or let the talks run its course without jeopardizing additional targeting of its leadership by retaliatory American airstrikes.

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