Iran

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, profile of an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Qods Force

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (“League of the Righteous”) is an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force. It is one of the three most important Shiite militias which are prioritized by the Qods Force in terms of military and financial support. The two other militias are the Hezbollah Battalions (Kataeb Hezbollah) and the Nujaba Movement (Harakat al-Nujaba or Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba). These three militias played a key role during the fighting against the US forces while they were deployed in Iraq. They consist of commanders and operatives who had acquired extensive fighting experience and maintain particularly strong ties with the Qods Force. In recent years, these militias were handled by Iran in various missions promoting Iranian interests, including support of the Syrian regime, fighting against ISIS, and the suppression of protesters against the Iraqi regime. The US has imposed sanctions on all three militias.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 29, 2019 – January 12, 2020)

Last week’s events were marked by a significant escalation between the United States and Iran following the assassination of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in an American strike in Baghdad. In an initial response to Soleimani’s elimination, the IRGC launched ballistic missiles toward the Ayn al-Assad base in western Iraq, in which U.S. forces are present. Shortly after Soleimani’s assassination, his deputy, Esmail Qa’ani, was appointed in his stead, as the commander of the Qods Force. Qa’ani vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death, persist in his path and remove the United States from the region. Qasem Soleimani’s assassination provided an opportunity for a meeting between the heads of the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with senior Iranian officials. A delegation of both organizations, who came to Tehran to participate in Soleimani’s funeral, met during their visit with the incoming Qods Force commander.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 1 –7, 2020)

In the days after the killing of Qassem Soleimani the Gaza Strip has been almost completely quiet. This past week no return march was held. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which receive military and financial support from Iran, issued mourning notices for the death of Qassem Soleimani. A Hamas delegation led by Isma'il Haniyeh arrived in Tehran to participate in Soleimani's funeral. In March 2018 the ITIC reported that Turkey had transmitted many documents from the Ottoman State Archives to the PA, mainly those dealing with the ownership of real estate. The Israeli media recently reported that Palestinian lawyers have already begun to use the documents in the legal battles being waged regarding land registration, especially in Jerusalem.
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Initial Palestinian reactions to the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force

Contrary to the reactions of senior Iranian officials and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who did not relate to Israeli as being involved in the attack, senior Hamas and PIJ figures accused Israel of collaborating with the United States in the killing. Some even accused Israel of direct responsibility for Soleimani's death. However, Hamas and PIJ spokesmen were careful not to overtly threaten Israel. The London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that senior Hamas figures had made it clear to Egypt that they had not interest in an escalation in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the killing of Soleimani (al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 5, 2020).
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Responses in Iran and Initial Assessment of the Impact of Eliminating Qasem Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

On January 2, 2020, American drones struck two vehicles in Baghdad ferrying senior commanders of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The strikes killed Qasem Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Deputy Commander of the Hashd al-Shaabi (the pro-Iranian Shi’ite militias in Iraq) and several Qods Force and Hashd al-Shaabi members who were in the targeted convoy.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 15, 2019 – December 29, 2019)

Iranian-Israeli confrontation in Syria: Ali-Akbar Velayati, the Senior Adviser on International Affairs of the Supreme Leader of Iran, warned in an interview to a Following a pause lasting eight years, the Iranian Pilgrimage Organization renewed sending Iranian pilgrims to visits in the Shi’ite holy sites in Syria. Iran continues to try and influence the process of appointing a temporary prime minister in Iraq, in an effort to protect Iran’s interests in the country. The Spokesman of Iraq’s Joint Operation’s, that the security cooperation between Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria is continuing at the highest levels in an effort to maintain stability along the Iraq-Syria border and to prevent ISIS from gaining a foothold in the region.
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