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Iran dispatches 7,500 fighters to Iraq to protect Shia pilgrims

Military parade marking the 39th anniversary of the outset of the Iran-Iraq war, in front of the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran, on September 22, 2019. [Fatemah Bahrami/Anadolu Agenc
Military parade marking the 39th anniversary of the outset of the Iran-Iraq war, in front of the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran, on September 22, 2019. [Fatemah Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

A senior Iranian military official revealed on Monday that his country would dispatch 7,500 troops to Iraq to protect Shia pilgrims, Iranian news agency Mehr reported.

Commander of Special Unit of Iran’s Law Enforcement Police Brigadier General Hassan Karami told Mehr that the Iranian troops will protect the celebration of the Arba’een of Imam Hussein – the anniversary of 40 days after the murder of the Shia Imam Al-Hussein.

“More than 10,000 special forces are directly responsible for securing the Arba’een anniversary celebrations,” he said.

He stated that 7,500 of which would be deployed in streets, while the remaining 4,000 would be on standby.

READ: Iran to target US forces in Iraq if subjected to attack

Iranian Special Forces were responsible for the cracking down on popular protests which erupted in more than 100 Iranian cities between December 2017 and January 2018.

“We did not use violence,” he said.

“We used only soft power, electronic surveillance, water cannons and dialogue with the protesters,” he explained. “This way, we could end the protests within two months.”

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