On April 1, Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, paid a secret visit to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, according to RT.
“The commander of the Quds Force has been in Baghdad since this morning, he met with some Iraqi politicians,” a source told the Russian news channel, adding “Ghanni discussed with them the formation of the Iraqi government and Iran’s position on Adnan Zarfi, who is charged with forming it.”
Ghaani succeeded former Quds Force commander Brig. Gen. Qassam Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on the Baghdad Airport in January of 2020. Last month, the commander visited Syria, where inspected the frontlines in the northern governorate of Aleppo.
Following the reports of Ghaani’s visit to Iraq, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Iran, vowing to response to any attack on U.S. troops in Iraq.
“Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!” the President said on Twitter.
The last few months witnessed a series of rocket attacks on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops. The U.S.-led coalition is now carrying out a partial withdrawal from the country. Most of the troops are being relocated to well-protected bases where air-defense systems are being deployed.
Ghanni’s secret visit and Trump’s threat indicate that Iraq may soon witness a new stand-off between Iranian-backed Shiite groups and U.S. forces. The situation could escalate very quickly. Washington is reportedly preparing for a war with Iran’s allies in the country.