Iranian commander said to encourage increased attacks on US forces in Iraq
Revolutionary Guards intelligence chief Hossein Taeb reportedly pushed Shi’ite militias to step up activity against American targets, a message they apparently heeded
By TOI STAFF
Today, 12:51 am
Visiting Baghdad last week, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander urged Iraqi Shi’ite militias to increase their attacks on United States targets, Reuters reported Tuesday, quoting multiple Iraqi sources.
A senior official in the region told the news agency that Revolutionary Guards intelligence chief Hossein Taeb led a delegation that met several Iraqi militia leaders and conveyed “the [Iranian] supreme leader’s message to them about keeping up pressure on US forces in Iraq until they leave the region.”
Several militia sources were quoted as saying that the Iranians advised them to increase their attacks against US forces but not to go too far, to avoid a serious escalation.
Indeed, in the days following the meeting, Reuters reported, US forces in both Iraq and Syria reported an increase in attacks against them.
The US has blamed Iran-backed militia groups for previous attacks, most of them rocket attacks that have targeted the American presence in Baghdad and military bases across Iraq.