'The Islamic Resistance in Iraq'- A Brief Overview and Analysis
Logo for the “war media” channel of “The Islamic Resistance in Iraq.”
Prior to the current war between Israel and Hamas, various ‘new groups’ in Iraq were claiming attacks on U.S. forces both in Iraq and Syria as part of a bid to force them out of both countries. These groups, normally operating under the moniker of the ‘Islamic Resistance,’ have often only been identified through social media (in particular, Telegram) and have generally been careful not to disclose information about possible connections with other existing armed factions in Iraq, especially prominent pro-Iranian ones that have brigades on the registers of the Popular Mobilisation (Hashd Sha‘abi) Commission (e.g. Kata’ib Hezbollah and Harakat al-Nujaba’)
After all, those brigades that are on the commission’s registers are considered part of Iraq’s armed forces and under the control of the prime minister who serves as overall commander of the armed forces. Therefore, those factions that have brigades on the commission’s registers should technically be subordinate to the Iraqi government’s command and control and should not be attacking American forces, because American forces are officially considered an ally by Iraq’s government and remain in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government to assist the country’s armed forces combat the Islamic State.
Until now, it has been risky at best for these factions to claim attacks on the Americans under their own name, however much they might have talked about the need to remove the American ‘occupation’ from Iraq, because those attacks could be construed as an attacks by members of Iraq’s armed forces.
Thus, one could suppose that the ‘new resistance’ groups that have claimed attacks are in part or in whole simple fronts for the existing pro-Iranian factions in Iraq. Recent events would appear to confirm this view.
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With the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, ‘resistance’ factions in the region have tried to show their support for a ‘resistance axis’ ally (Hamas) by trying to put pressure on Israel and its main ally (the United States) in a bid to stop the Israeli bombing and ground offensive in Gaza. In Iraq, this trend has seen the emergence of a group simply called ‘The Islamic Resistance in Iraq’, which claims to have carried out dozens of attacks that can be tallied as follows so far from a pro-Kata’ib Hezbollah channel:
"Operations of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq in support of Gaza.
Iraq: 39 operations. Syria: 36 operations. The occupied territories: 3 operations.
[NB: the toll is off here, based on the numbers below, which give 41 operations in Iraq and 34 in Syria].