There were 1,724 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 403,705 in the last 365 days.

“Axis of Resistance” versus U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria

 In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group’s Senior Iraq Analyst, Lahib Higel, to discuss the latest escalation between Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq and Syria and U.S. forces stationed in the region. They talk about the 29 January drone strike that killed three U.S. soldiers in a military base in Jordan and the U.S. retaliation against Iran-backed groups in Iraq, including a strike in Baghdad on 7 February that killed a senior commander from Kata’ib Hizbollah, which orchestrated the Jordan attack. They unpack the history of Kata’ib Hizbollah and other members of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, their relations with other Iraqi Shia paramilitaries, including those in the Hashd al Shaabi, or popular mobilisation forces, and Islamic Resistance strikes on U.S. forces since Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel and Israel’s subsequent assault on Gaza. They talk about how much control Tehran has over the Iraqi groups. They also discuss what the escalation means for the role and presence of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more on the topics discussed in this episode, visit our Iraq country page.