Leaders of Iraqi Pro-Iran Factions Head to Syria, Lebanon in Wake of Escalation in Gaza

Iraqis stage a rally in Baghdad in support of Palestinians. (Reuters)
Iraqis stage a rally in Baghdad in support of Palestinians. (Reuters)
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Leaders of Iraqi Pro-Iran Factions Head to Syria, Lebanon in Wake of Escalation in Gaza

Iraqis stage a rally in Baghdad in support of Palestinians. (Reuters)
Iraqis stage a rally in Baghdad in support of Palestinians. (Reuters)

The leaders of several Iraqi factions loyal to Iran have headed to Syria and Lebanon in wake of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, informed Iraqi sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The sources said the leaders were accompanied by groups of fighters, whose task, at the moment, seems aimed at assessing the situation on the ground and following up with groups in Syria and Lebanon along border regions.

The Iraqi factions have received messages from Iran that the situation in Gaza does not demand direct intervention. This may change if the war expands and more parties become involved, they explained.

Moreover, leaders of the pro-Iran Coordination Framework in Iraq received a recommendation to wait and see how the situation unfolds in Gaza before any action can be taken.

Meanwhile, the faction leaders relayed the details of the situation along the border in Syria and Lebanon back to Iraq, said the sources.

They were briefed on maps and potential scenarios should a confrontation erupt, they added.

“The Iraqi factions are awaiting orders that haven’t arrived yet. They have no intention of moving without any clear Iranian orders,” they stressed.

In Iraq, Coordination Framework media have continued to promote the “Iraqi resistance’s readiness to head to the field and carry out attacks against American and Israeli interests.”

Deputy commander of Iran’s Quds Force Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh and Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Mohammad Kazem Al Sadeq recently held a meeting with former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and leaders of pro-Iran factions to request that the media intensify its campaign against Israel and support the Palestinian Hamas movement. They also called for signing up recruits to join the fight against Israel, informed sourced told Radio Farda.

The Quds Force called on the militias to be on alert and wait for orders from Iran, they added.

Head of the pro-Iran Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq Qais al-Khazali said on a post on the X platform that his movement was “closely monitoring the developments and was ready” for any action.

It appears unlikely that all political party leaders in the Iraqi government are eager to join a greater conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, but an escalation in Gaza could pressure Iran and its allies in the region to join the fight.



Clashes Escalate in Sudan’s North Darfur

Rapid Support Forces members. (AP)
Rapid Support Forces members. (AP)
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Clashes Escalate in Sudan’s North Darfur

Rapid Support Forces members. (AP)
Rapid Support Forces members. (AP)

Clashes renewed on Monday between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in several locations in North Darfur, while each side claimed to have inflicted the other with heavy losses in lives and military equipment.

Eyewitnesses said fierce ground clashes took place early in the morning in the vicinity of El Fasher, and around the Zarq and Um Baar areas, which are controlled by the RSF.

Meanwhile, residents fear counter-attacks following threats launched by several RSF leaders, who vowed to strongly respond to the killing of Ali Yagoub Gibril, one of their senior commanders during a battle in the besieged north Darfur city of El Fasher last Friday.

Social media accounts affiliated with the RSF posted videos showing violent clashes that took place Monday in the Um Baar area.

The video also showed destroyed military and armored vehicles of the army and the armed movements backing it.

Since the outbreak of fighting in Sudan, the RSF has pushed large numbers of its forces to capture the town of El Fasher. The city is the army's last stronghold in the western Darfur region.

On Sunday, RSF commander Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, also known as Hemedti, blamed the escalation in El Fasher on armed factions “that have abandoned neutrality and chosen to side with their slaughterer.”

A resident of El Fasher said the Eid Al-Adha celebrations were completely absent, and that many residents did not leave their homes to perform religious rituals for fear of bombs targeting residential neighborhoods.