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The “Revolutionary Guards” are Storing Weapons in an Iraqi Town Near the Saudi Arabian Border - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An Iraqi soldier watching a military operation in a village in Fallujah, governorate of Al-Anbar (EPA)

An Iraqi soldier watching a military operation in a village in Fallujah, governorate of Al-Anbar (EPA)

An Iraqi security source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are striving to store weapons in the Iraqi town of Al-Nakhib which is adjacent to the border with Saudi Arabia. The source, who is a colonel in the Iraqi army confirmed that the Revolutionary Guards are training the so-called “Iraqi Hezbollah” in the town of Al-Nakhib and that the Iraqi army cannot enter the area without coordinating with the armed Shiite militias loyal to Tehran.

When asked about how Tehran seized the town of Al-Nakhib, the source said that it did so through the Abbas Brigade and by evicting the town’s original inhabitants. He added that there are currently no inhabitants or Iraqi forces in the town and pointed out that what happened there was effectively ethnic cleansing. He continued by saying that “when armed militias seized control of the town, Sunni and Shiite Arabs were expelled under the pretext that they want to protect Karbala from ISIS fighters”.

The colonel added that “the most important reasons for the Abbas Brigade, which is affiliated to Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi, seizing the town is to create a foothold for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force which is led by Qasem Soleimani near the Saudi Arabian border on the one hand, and to secure a safe land route to transport fighters of the Revolutionary Guards and arm into Syria and Lebanon”.

The source was surprised at the armed militias’ insistence on seizing this town and expelling its residents despite the residents’ lack of conviction with regards to the arguments of the militias loyal to Tehran, especially as the extremist organisation ISIS is nowhere near the town and its surroundings.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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