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Iran turns to Hezbollah to calm armed factions in Iraq

November 24, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, General Ismail Qaani, in Tehran, Iran on 3 January 2020 [Iranian Leader Press Office/Anadolu Agency]

The Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, General Ismail Qaani, is reported to have visited the Lebanese capital Beirut where he met with the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah in a bid to convince pro-Iran armed factions in Iraq not to launch further attacks on US forces, Arabic Post news site reported.

The site quoted sources familiar with Qaani’s visit as saying that the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi asked the General to intervene as US President Donald Trump has begun to gradually withdraw American soldiers from Iraq.

According to the sources, the meeting between Qaani and Nasrallah was also attended by the leader of the Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah, Abdulaziz Abu Al-Fadak.

The sources explained that Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah agree that no further attacks should be launched against US forces in Iraq in order not to escalate tension with America or  give Trump a reason to commit any “stupid act against Iraq or Iran”.

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Following his meeting in Beirut, the Iranian general visited Baghdad and met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi in his office in the Green Zone.

A source familiar with the meeting told the news site that the Iraqi prime minister is afraid of escalating the conflict between the US and the Iraqi Shia armed factions.

General Qaani is reported to have also met with the leader of Al-Fatah Alliance, Hadi Al-Amiri, and leaders of other pro-Iran factions, including Qais Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl Al-Haq militant group.

However, the sources explained that the Iranian General failed to end the differences between the Iraqi armed factions, adding that some leaders rejected the Iranian orders, saying they have the right to defend themselves against America.