By Iran Probe staff
Thursday, 4 May 2017
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) is establishing a number of bases in Mosul in northern Iraq where its Quds Force officers are stationed alongside members of the Iraqi Hashid al-Sha’bi (Popular Mobilization Units). These forces are on the verge of establishing supply lines for Bashar Assad in Syria.
The Shiite militias established following a fatwa issued by leading religious leaders in Iraq are known as Hashid al-Sha’bi. These units have been able to retake a large portion of Iraq from ISIS control and their ranks and files enjoy vast support from Iran.
The IRGC Quds Force is behind the organization of these numerous bases in Mosul, according to Asharq al-Awsat. Dozens of Quds Force-linked military and political sites have been opened in eastern Mosul, with Iranian officers visiting continuously.
In the past few weeks Iran has equipped its linked militias in Mosul with heavy weaponry and drones, reports indicate.
Coinciding with this meddling, former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, known for his close relations with Tehran, has been busy meeting with tribes with the intention of gaining the highest number of parliamentary seats in Mosul and changing the city’s social fabric.
Maliki will attempt to maintain insecurity in Mosul and create sedition amongst the city residents, according to Asharq al-Awsat.
Experts believe Iran is seeking to establish ground routes to Assad in Syria and the Lebanese Hezbollah to increase its influence across the region.
Iran has appointed Iraj Masjedi, deputy of Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani, as its new ambassador in Iraq. Masjedi used to be Suleimani’s first deputy and in charge of the Iraq dossier in the Quds Force.
Iran is changing the fabrication of Mosul’s population following its liberation from ISIS control. This has raised concerns amongst Turkish, Kurdish and Iraqi Sunni officials.
Iraj Masjedi and Nouri al-Maliki