(JNS.org) The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are reportedly seeking to use fighters from the Palestinian terror group Hamas to help liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul, which has been occupied by the Islamic State terror group since June 2014.
According to the Jerusalem Post, which cited a report in the London-based Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Hamas forces would fight alongside Hezbollah fighters and Shi’a Houthi militias under the leadership of Iranian forces to regain control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
Iran has extensively used fighters from Shi’a militias and terror groups—such as Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis—in campaigns in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State and other Sunni rebel groups. But Hamas, which formed from the Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, is a mainly Sunni Muslim terror group. Despite the sectarian differences, Hamas has been closely allied with Iran for years, as both have a mutual enemy in Israel.
U.S. and global coalition forces have been training Iraqi forces to eventually retake Mosul from Islamic State, but there has not been a timeline set for the campaign.
Additionally, the report said that Iran plans to use Hamas fighters in order to liberate the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, which has been under the control of the Western-allied Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Iran reportedly considers the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government a threat to its influence with the Iraqi government.