Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spokesman For Iran-Backed Iraqi Shi'ite Militia In Syria: 'We Have Established The Golan Liberation Army' - MEMRI




by MEMRI

This force, he said, "has detailed plans" for action, but requires the authorization of the Syrian government to be present in the Golan.

On March 8, 2017, Hashem Al-Mousawi, the spokesman for the Iran-backed Iraqi Shi'ite militia Al-Nujaba, gave an interview to the Iranian news agency Tasnim, highlighting the militia's activities in Iraq and Syria. He accused Saudi Arabia and the U.S. of being responsible for ISIS's actions, stressing that Iran is the only country that has helped his militia. He also said that Iraqi-Saudi relations were like "a failed marriage," adding that "we do not want a separation between Iran and Iraq."

Al-Mousawi said that his militia would not allow foreign forces to remain in Mosul, and revealed that the American administration had heavily pressured the Iraqi government to prevent the Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) militia from entering Sunni cities liberated from ISIS. He also said that the U.S. had demanded to appoint a civilian governer in Mosul, but that their demand had been rejected.

Al-Mousawi warned Turkey that if it did not withdraw from Bashiqa in northern Iraq his organization would take military action against it, adding that Al-Nujaba opposes the presence of former Iraqi prime minister Tariq Al-Hashimi – a Sunni currently living in exile – at conferences organized by Turkey to discuss Iraq's fate. 

He also stressed that his militia forces have been in Syria for four years and do not intend to withdraw until after "the terrorists" leave, and expressed fear of ethnic cleansing in the Shi'ite villages of Fu'ah and Kefraya in Syria.

Additionally, Al-Mousawi announced that his militia has established the "Golan Liberation Army," which he said "comprises special forces that have received training and equipment." This force, he said, "has detailed plans" for action, but requires the authorization of the Syrian government to be present in the Golan. Al-Mousawi admitted that his militia is directly tied to the PMU and the Iranian resistance axis, and said that the militia was expanding its activity to combat Israel on the Golan Heights because "Israel is fundamentally [responsible for] the destruction of Iraq… and took steps to destroy our infrastructure." He also warned the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen not to advance on Iran, because Iran is "a powerful country."

Al-Nujaba And The Iranian Connection

The Al-Nujba militia was established by Akram Al-Ka'bi, who left the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Iraqi militia Asaeb Ahl Al-Haqq and moved to Syria to supervise Al-Nujaba's activity, which includes participating in combat to defend the Assad regime. In an interview with the Iraqi daily Al-'Alam Al-Jadid, Al-Ka'bi said that Iran supports his organization both militarily and logistically, and stressed its close ties with Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s (IRGC) Qods Force, and with Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.[1] According to reports on Syrian opposition websites, militiamen are trained by the IRGC and Hizbullah, and are deployed throughout Syria – in Al-Raqqa, Aleppo Province, and Damascus.[2] Published images indicate that the militia operates Iranian drones (see images below). Additionally, in light of its close ties with Iran's Qods Force, the militia published a song praising Qassem Soleimani. To view the video, click here.


Al-Nujaba militia leader Al-Ka'bi (left) with Iran's Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani (Al-aalem.com, April 20, 2015)



Al-Nujaba logo, which is similar to logos used by the IRGC and other resistance organizations (Alnujba.org, October 9, 2014)

Following is a translation of the interview with Al-Nujaba spokesman Hashem Al-Mousawi, which has been reordered by topic: [3]

Al-Nujaba Spokesman: "We Demanded That [Saudi Foreign Minister] Al-Jubeir Take Back The Gifts He Had Given Iraq"

"In this [interview] I will discuss the events in the region and in Iraq. Terrorism wishes to besmirch Islam and destroy the infrastructure of Islamic countries. The sectarian wars in the region are meant to destroy [these countries]. That is why foreign media refer to the regional war as a sectarian one [between Sunnis and Shi'ites]. We are a united nation in Iraq fighting against terrorism. ISIS is the standard bearer of sectarianism, and its goal is to destroy the sanctities of Islam.

"Many cities have been liberated and ISIS has lost many leaders, most of them Saudi. During the recent visit by [Saudi Foreign Minister] 'Adel Al-Jubeir [to Iraq], we demanded that he take back the gifts he had given Iraq.

"In Mosul, ISIS destroyed all its documents within two days, killed its injured, and set up gallows for those who surrendered. ISIS elements wish to flee to Syria and establish an autonomy there. But America wants to send all the terrorist elements to Yemen and Syria, so that terrorism spreads throughout the entire region. America also wants to revive terrorism in Africa.


Hashem Al-Mousawi being interviewed by Tasnim

"The war in Mosul is easy because the terrorist groups [there] have been eliminated. In accordance with our plan, we cut Tal Afar off from Mosul, and this was the death of ISIS. In response, the enemy sent over 30 martyrdom vehicles and suicide drones, [but] we managed to deal with them."

"Iran Is The Only Country That Helped Us And Sent Us Its Military Advisors"

"We accept refugees regardless of religion. The images and videos attacking the PMU and the [Iranian-led] resistance are part of a media war waged by terrorist elements.

"We assess that the war in Mosul will end within days. American forces are in Mosul to steal the Iraqi people's victory in this war. When ISIS stole Syria's oil from the Ayn Al-Assad base, America merely [stood by and] observed.

"ISIS benefits from American weapons, Saudi vehicles, and Qatari food [rations]. When Mosul was captured [by ISIS], we expected the establishment of an Arab coalition, but sadly, [the Arabs] only looked on. Their excuse was that Iraq obeyed Iran, even though Iran is the only country that has helped us and sent us its military advisors, led by [IRGC Qods Force Commander] Qassem Soleimani. We asked Arab countries, 'Why do you take a stand against us because of a single Iranian military advisor, but say nothing about the thousands of American military advisors? Alternatively, why don't you send [us your own] military advisors?' The Arab media fought us, calling us a militia while referring to ISIS as 'the Islamic State.'"


Iranian Yasir drone used by the Al-Nujaba militia (Dana.ir, March 25, 2015; Abna, Iran, December 23, 2014)

"America Heavily Pressured The [Iraqi] Government To Prevent The PMU From Entering Tal Afar And Mosul"

"America heavily pressured the [Iraqi] government to prevent the PMU from entering Tal Afar and Mosul. [In response,] we prevented American forces from entering liberated areas in Iraq.
"ISIS uses civilians as human shields. The [Iraqi] security forces absolutely do not damage infrastructure. [This,] unlike America, which destroyed over 6,000 homes while liberating Al-Ramadi.
"We closed the Syrian-Iraqi border, [but] an Iraqi airstrike in Syria worried [Saudi Foreign Minister] 'Adel Al-Jubeir, who wished to put an end to it, yet we persisted..."

"We Will Not Allow Foreign Forces To Remain In Mosul..; We Do Not Want A Separation Between Iran And Iraq"

"Saudi-Iraqi ties are like a failed marriage. We hope [the Saudis] officially recognize the political process in Iraq and work with us from that angle. We will not allow foreign forces to remain in Mosul.
"So long as there are no sectarian motives, we support all efforts to preserve the political process in Iraq, but totally reject interference in Iraqi affairs. We certainly will not agree to Iraq becoming a wrestling arena for other countries. We do not recognize Al-Jubeir's visit [in Baghdad] as a step that will improve the situation in Iraq. Iraq has complicated problems and we want [the Saudis] to leave Iraq and its people alone. [But] we do not want a separation between Iran and Iraq...

"America wants to appoint a non-military governor in Mosul. The Iraqi regime rejected this. There is another group named Ninveh that wants to control this area. We will not allow them to.

"Militarily speaking, we [Al-Nujaba] have achieved victory in Mosul. We will not participate in a future political process and we want nothing from Mosul other than to liberate it. After that, we will carry out our ideological and cultural work.

"America wants to save the leaders of ISIS from Iraqi elements, which is why we have severed the aid routes [to them]. The decision by ISIS leaders to enter Al-Raqqa [in Syria] took place before we entered those areas. America intends to create new fronts in Sinai and Africa..."


If Pressuring Turkey To Withdraw From Bashiqa Yields No Results, "We Will Take A Military Move"

"As for the Turkish military presence in Bashiqa [in northern Iraq], the Iraqi parliament called the presence of Turkish forces [there] 'occupation.' We have applied pressure on Turkey to withdraw. If this pressure is fruitless, we will take a military move. Turkey prevented the PMU from being present in Tal Afar, using the excuse of [preventing] a sectarian war...

"[Turkey's President] Erdogan deceived [the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, Mas'oud] Barzani, but the Turkish delusion was buried on the outskirts of Sinjar. With no authorization from the central [Iraqi] government, Barzani retaliated in Kobane and later in Sinjar, in order to become a hero for the Kurds. But the Kurdish parties do not want this dictator. The Turks and Americans want these Kurdish conflicts to persist.

"As for the influence Mosul's liberation had on Iraq's parliamentary elections – currently, Iraqi conferences are taking place in Turkey, attended by terrorist elements who fled [Iraq], such as [former Iraqi Vice President] Tariq Al-Hashimi. We do not accept this..."

"Al-Nujaba Has Been In Syria For Four Years... We Will Not Leave Until All The Terrorists Do"

"Al-Nujaba has been in Syria for four years. Turkey stole Syria's equipment, infrastructure, and intelligensia.

"Food and medicine shortages, as well as frequent attacks in the area of the [Shi'ite villages of] Fu'ah and Kefraya [in Syria], worry us, since it is possible that ethnic cleansing could take place...
"Regarding the renewed fighting in Rif Aleppo, one of our top priorities is to remove the siege from Fu'ah and Kefraya. International pressure is being applied to remove this siege because some countries want it to continue in order to promote their own political interests...

"The violence and crimes committed by [Turkish President] Erdogan against his [own] people could repeat themselves in Fu'ah and Kefraya. That is why we asked the Syrian foreign minister to rejoin the Arab League, so that we can show the world what is happening in Fu'ah and Kefraya. The illusion of the Ottoman Empire has collapsed in Syria...

"We will not leave Syria until all the terrorists do. We are fighting in Syria for the different sects and religions and we absolutely do not want population transfers."

"We Have Created The Golan Liberation Army... If The Syrian Regime Asks Us To, We Are Ready To Act To Liberate The Golan"

"After the recent victories, we created the Golan Liberation Army. This army has been trained and has detailed plans. If the Syria regime asks us to, we are ready to act to liberate the Golan [from Israel] along with our allies. We will not allow Arab and Islamic countries to be smaller in size than Israel...

"The Golan Army comprises special forces who have received training and equipment. They have not [yet] entered any war [against Israel] and have been busy only with ending regional wars. There is a need for authorization from the Syrian government so that the Golan Army can be present there [in the Golan]...

"Regarding the Golan Army, we are part of the PMU, and before that we were part of the resistance [axis]. So long as there is a threat in the region, we will not lay down our weapons.

"Israel is fundamentally [responsible for] Iraq's destruction. That regime took steps to destroy our infrastructure and scientists. Whether Iraq is on Trump's list or not, we consider [the U.S.] a supporter of regional terrorism..."

"We Advise The Anti-Yemen Coalition... Not Advance On Iran, Which Is A Strong, Developed Country"

"The Arab media has shut its eyes to the events and killing in Yemen. The anti-Yemen coalition has suffered many defeats, and the resistance has exchanged defensive warfare for offensive warfare. We advise the anti-Yemen coalition, which has not managed to defeat [even] a small country like Yemen, not to advance on Iran, which is a strong, developed country..."
 

[1] Al-aalem.com, April 20, 2015.
[2] Zamanalwsl.net, August 19, 2014; Assakina.com, March 26, 2015.
[3] Tasnim (Iran), March 8, 2017.


MEMRI

Source: https://www.memri.org/reports/spokesman-iran-backed-iraqi-shiite-militia-syria-we-have-established-golan-liberation-army

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