Iraqi militia now part of anti-Israel 'equation of deterrence'

Iraqi militia now part of anti-Israel 'equation of deterrence'
The Kataeb Hezbollah militia said it is expanding its operations to be part of a coalition against Israel.
2 min read
17 June, 2021
The Iraqi Shia militia said they were now part of the so-called 'equation of deterrence' announced by Nasrallah [Getty]

Iraqi Shia militia Kataeb Hezbollah announced Wednesday that it was joining a new alliance against Israel.

The Iran-backed group said Israel's alleged assassination of a number of its commanders and fighters in Iraq was the reason it was joining the Lebanon Hezbollah-led "equation of deterrence" coalition.

Israel was believed to be behind airstrikes on Iraqi militia bases in 2019, which former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to confirm.

Kataeb Hezbollah said on their site: "The brutality of the Zionists is not limited to the innocent Palestinians but goes beyond that to reach the rest of the region.

"The entity [Israel] allowed itself to attack [us], take advantage of US support and that of its allies."

Lebanon Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced the formation of the so-called "equation of deterrence" after the Israeli bombing of Gaza and the brutal suppression of protests in Jerualem in May.

Eleven days of Israeli bombing of Gaza killed over 250 Palestinians, including at least 66 children, while Hamas rocket fire also 12 Israeli civilians and one soldier. 

Nasrallah warned that attacking "Jerusalem means war", despite Hezbollah playing no role in the fighting between Israel and Gaza-based Hamas, nor during this week's flare-up in violence.

The Shia paramilitary leader remained strangely quiet throughout Israel's 11-day bombardment of Gaza.

Kataeb Hezbollah in Iraq has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the US Treasury Department since 2009, which claimed the group was a threat to Iraqi national security.

Washington alleged that the group was behind an attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad on 31 December 2019, following funerals for Kataeb Hezbollah militants killed in US airstrikes. Militants were spotted in the crowds.

Tehran has backed other militias in Iraq and played a key role in the creation of the Popular Mobilization Forces militia coalition, which Kataeb Hezbollah is part of.

A US airstrike in 2020 killed Kataeb Hezbollah commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis and Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.