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US designates Tehran-aligned militia in Iraq as terror group

The State Department says it “has publicly threatened to continue attacking U.S. interests” in the Mideast.

Exterior of the U.S. State Department's Harry S. Truman Building in May 2024. Credit: Linda D. Epstein/U.S. State Department.
Exterior of the U.S. State Department's Harry S. Truman Building in May 2024. Credit: Linda D. Epstein/U.S. State Department.

The U.S. State Department designated the group Harakat Ansar Allah al-Awfiya, and Haydar Muzhir Ma’lak al-Sa’idi, 46, the Iraq-based militia’s secretary general, as “specially designated global terrorists” on Monday.

Aligned with Iran, the entity is “part of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq—a front group that includes multiple Iran-aligned terrorist and militia groups, including U.S.-designated terrorist organizations Kata’ib Hizballah, Harakat al-Nujaba, and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, that have repeatedly attacked global coalition to defeat ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria,” per Foggy Bottom.

Islamic Resistance in Iraq “has claimed responsibility for dozens of recent attacks against U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria, including the January drone attack that killed three U.S. service members at Tower 22 in Jordan,” the State Department said.

The newly designated Harakat Ansar Allah al-Awfiya was also involved in that January attack, according to the department, and the group “has publicly threatened to continue attacking U.S. interests in the region.”

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