South Asia and Beyond

New Iran-Backed Terrorist Group?

 New Iran-Backed Terrorist Group?

What is the Islamic Resistance of Iraq (IRI)? The US believes it is a new group of militias created by Iran that are under orders to attack US targets in Iraq and Syria. The Washington Institute, in an analysis last October, suspects it is “an umbrella term for all Iran backed militias in Iraq.”

Their precise strength is unknown and since it is an umbrella group, it gives deniability. But it is this group that attacked a US military outpost on the Jordan-Syria border on Sunday known as Tower 22, in which three US soldiers were killed.

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The Atlantic Council believes Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are coordinating the strikes by this group although it now appears IRI fighters are evacuating their positions along the Iraq-Syria border in anticipation of a US retaliatory strike. They are not using mobile phones or other communications devices fearing they will be tracked.

Pressure on President Joe Biden to order a strike is growing as American blood has been shed. This is an election year and at all costs, Biden cannot be seen to be soft on Iran. This could be a new phase in the shadow war that the US has waged against a broad and growing array of Islamic militant groups dedicated to seeing US forces out of the region.