Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei attends a praying procession for the coffins of seven Revolutionary Guard Corps members killed in a strike on the country's consular annex in Damascus. (Tehran, April 4, 2024)

Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia Awaits Orders For Response To Consulate Bombing

Wednesday, 04/10/2024

The Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI) is awaiting a decision from Iranian authorities regarding a “calculated response” in the Golan Heights region for the Israeli airstrike on Iran’s Syrian consulate.

On Monday, a CNN report, citing sources familiar with US intelligence, suggested that Iran's retaliation against Israel is likely to be carried out by proxy militia groups rather than directly by Iran itself.

Iran’s supreme leader has led calls for retaliation, echoed by military and political leaders in Iran.

However, while Israel awaits Iran’s response, sources speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat emphasized that the pro-Iranian factions have no intention of reigniting confrontation with American forces which it had begun in the wake of the Gaza war.

Following US support for Israel’s right to defend itself in the wake of the Iran-backed Hamas invasion of October 7, the IRI -- an umbrella group representing several Iran-backed factions -- conducted dozens of attacks on US facilities.

Since February 6, when a US drone strike killed senior Kataib Hezbollah commander Abu Baqir al-Saadi, calm has been observed between Iraqi armed factions and US forces.

Kataib Hezbollah, established in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, stands as one of the primary Iraqi armed factions with close ties to Iran. It remains the most influential faction within the IRI, a coalition of hardline Shiite groups responsible for over 150 attacks on US forces since the onset of the Gaza conflict on October 7.

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