While both the U.S. and Iran stepped back from open conflict, de-escalating the tension in the Middle East, the pro-Iranian Shiite militants in Iraq can provoke the volatile US-Iran Standoff.
Iran, which fired more than ten missiles against two U.S. military bases in Iraq on Wednesday (local time), had preliminarily coordinated the attack to avoid U.S. sacrifices. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that while it is true that the U.S. is at war with Iran under such operation, the Iraqi Shiite militia group aligned with Iran could still play “spoilers” in the volatile conflict between Us and Iran.
On Wednesday evening, within the day of Iran’s missile attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq, two rockets dropped inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses U.S. Embassy.
WSJ pointed out that this attack from militants’ in Baghdad proves the Iraqi militant groups’ willingness to take revenge on the U.S.’s drone strike in Baghdad on March 3.
The drone strike by the U.S. killed Qassim Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander of (the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) Quds Force and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandas, the deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraq Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
Iraq’s Shiite militia has vowed retaliation against the assassination of deputy head al-Mohandas.
It is hard to predict how Iraq’s pro-Iranian militias will move forward, but the WSJ predicted that some of them might continue retaliatory attacks against the death of deputy head Al-Muhandis.
They may also get support from Iranian fundamentalists who want continued pressure on the United States for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Qais al-Khazali, the leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), a member of Iraq’s Shi’ite militia, said, “The U.S. vetoed a resolution by the Iraqi Parliament on May 5 that called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and the insurgents in Iraq formed a single cause to end the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq.”
He also vowed to retaliate against the U.S. military for the removal of al-Muhandis, saying, “Now it is time the Iraqis respond to the assassination of the martyr al-Muhandis.
Iran is now urging Iraqi militias to refrain from retaliation, the WSJ reported.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on August 8, “We’re receiving some encouraging intelligence that Iran is sending messages to those very same militias not to move against American targets or civilians, and we hope that that message continues to echo.”
Iran is trying to control Iraqi militias, because the Trump administration has repeatedly emphasized that Iran must be directly responsible for the actions of pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, according to the WSJ.
The strong anti-foreign religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who leads the Iraqi parliament’s largest political party, al-Sarun, also gave his followers instructions not to do any military action until all political means to drive out U.S. troops had been exhausted.
Muqtada al-Sadr, a powerful antiforeignism religious leader who leads the Iraqi parliament’s largest faction, also gave his followers instructions not to take any military action until all political means to drive U.S. troops out of Iraq are exhausted.
Source: Yonhap News
The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:21)
Because of the rocket attack of the Iraqi Shiite militia’s retaliation, the volatile relationship of the U.S. and Middle East has escalated.
Iraq wants revenge, provoking war against the United States, and we need to watch how things will change with Iran’s arbitration. Lord, we seek your guidance in all political matters.
It seems that the times are getting darker in the unstable political condition, but now is the time of salvation. May Your hand be with every soul filled with fear of war and may many believe and return to You, Lord.
May God of peace work in this heightened conflict so that the power of war and death will be cut off. May the Iraqi church and global church pray more earnestly now so that the power of the gospel may overcome death and bring the revival of salvation saving many souls !!