A newly-established Iraqi armed group identifying itself as Qabdat al-Hudaa (QH) has threatened American and British ambassadors in the country’s capital, Baghdad.
In a statement released on April 9, the mysterious group called on both ambassadors to flee from the country within 48 hours threateniing to kill them.
“According to the information, which we received, US forces of evil are planning to carry out an attack against the blessed Islamic resistance factions and the Iraqi people. So we tell them that out eyes are monitoring you everywhere… and to the US and British ambassadors in Baghdad [we say] if you don’t leave Iraq within 48 hours, you will be leaving dead [in body bags]. Forewarned is forearmed,” the statement reads.
The new faction is named after a group of Shiite scholars who were executed by the Saddam regime in 1974. The five scholars, headed by al-Arif al-Busri, were among the very first leaders of the Islamic Dawa Party that later supported the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
QH is one of a few armed factions which were formed or emerged following the assassination of Popular Mobilization Units Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Iran’s Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassam Soleimani in January 2020.
Usbat al-Tha’ireen (UT), the faction that claimed responsibility for the March 11 rocket attack on the US-operated military base Camp Taji, was among the first groups that became active after the incident. Another group is ‘Ashab al-Kahf (AK). This group allegedly attacked a military convoy of U.S. forces in Saladin earlier this week.
Other large Shiite armed group like Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) have been threatening U.S. forces for a while now. However, they are yet to take any direct military action.
The U.S.-led coalition has taken these threats seriously. It has withdrawn a large part of its troops and redeployed others to well-protected bases. These measures will not likely be very successful, if Iraqi factions decide to go for an “open war” with U.S. forces.