The Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades threatened to escalate the confrontation with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, if he continued his campaign against armed groups, at a time when tension is escalating in the country due to the assassination of a prominent security analyst, Hisham Al-Hashemi, with gunfire in front of his house on Monday evening.
Kataeb spokesman, Mohammed Mohy, described to the Associated Press, the anti-terror forces raid of a headquarters of the Iraqi Hezbollah, about two weeks ago, as a provocation, and said that his group is convinced that Al-Kazimi will not stop his campaign against it, and there will be an escalation in the next stage.
A provocative step
. Mohi considered that the installation of the C-RAM air defense system in Baghdad to counter the Katyusha rockets and missiles fired by the factions is another provocative step that effectively transforms the embassy into a military base.
An Iraqi official, who asked not to be named, said that the factions held meetings shortly after the American embassy started testing this defense system and a decision was taken to intensify the pressure on the Prime Minister, and confirmed that there are great fears that Al-Kazemi plans to liquidate the armed factions.
This comes at a time when tension is escalating in Iraq as a result of the assassination of al-Hashemi, 47, who had previously received death threats from factions supported by Tehran. There is speculation that al-Hashemi may have been the victim of escalating tensions between the government and the factions.
Al-Kazimi had vowed to avenge the assassination of Hashemi, but any serious investigation could increase the risk of escalating tensions with the armed factions.
A bold raid. It
is noteworthy that the Iraqi army's anti-terror forces arrested on June 26 last year a number of members of the "Hezbollah" brigades, which are part of the Popular Mobilization Organization, during a raid in its headquarters west of Baghdad. American in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport, buildings and government sites.
After hours of arrest, members of the Hezbollah Brigades stormed the headquarters of the anti-terrorist agency in the Green Zone in the center of the capital, Baghdad, where the government headquarters and a number of foreign embassies are located, including the American embassy.
Days after, the Iraqi authorities released 13 members of the brigades and kept only one element in detention, after investigators said that they could only find a link to one of them in those attacks, and after that, rocket attacks resumed, targeting the Green Zone and Baghdad Airport.
Iraqi analyst Sajjad Jiyad said that this shows the Prime Minister the limits of his powers, and that dealing with these sensitive files requires a great deal of effort.
It is the most daring raid in years of Iraqi security forces against the Hezbollah Brigades, which US officials accuse of firing missiles at bases hosting American forces and other facilities in Iraq.
In response to a question what can Al-Kazimi do?
"The matter is as the factions say, if you want an open confrontation, you can get it," said Fanar Haddad, a researcher on Iraqi affairs.
Haddad added that it was not clear about another alternative that could save face.