Kata'ib Hezbollah

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Kata'ib Hezbollah
Participant in Iraq War
Kata'ib Hezbollah logo.svg
Kata'ib Hezbollah flag.svg
Hezbollah Brigades logo (and flag) based on Hezbollah and IRGC logos
Active October 2003–present
Leaders Unknown
Headquarters Middle and Southern Iraq
Strength 2,000 (at most)[1]
Part of Iraqi Insurgency
Originated as Special Groups
Allies

Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq
Promised Day Brigades
Other Special Groups

Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas
Opponents  United States
Coalition
Islamic State
For other uses of Hezbollah, see Hezbollah (disambiguation).

Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) or Hezbollah Brigades is a Shi'a Iraqi Insurgent group which has been active since 4 months before the beginning of the Iraq War (although their first attack was on October 2003), not to be confused with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. It is said to be an offshoot of the "Special Groups", which are the Iranian backed elements of the Mahdi Army. Katai'b Hezbollah is a separate and independent organization and not part of the Mahdi Army and its Special Groups. According to the American forces it receives funding, training, logistics, and material from Iran's Quds Force. Claims which are denied by Iran.[2] Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an adviser to Iran's Quds Force is known to be a senior adviser to Kata'ib Hezbollah. The US state department has also claimed Hezbollah provided weapons and training for the group.[3] The group is known for uploading its videos of attacks on American forces on the internet.[4]

In Summer 2008 US and Iraqi Forces launched a crackdown against Kata'ib Hezbollah (and the Special Groups). At least 30 of its members were captured during those months. Many of the group's leaders were captured and us officials claim that "as result much of the leadership fled to Iran".[5][6]

On 2 July 2009 the group was added to the "U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations". The group is held responsible for numerous IED bombings, mortar, rocket and RPG attacks as well as sniper operations, targeting US and Iraqi Forces and the Green Zone, including a November 2008 rocket attack that killed two U.N. workers.[7]

In December, 2009, the group intercepted the unencrypted video feed of MQ-1 Predator UAVs above Iraq.[8]

February 12, 2010 a firefight with suspected members of Kata'ib Hizballah, a group that the U.S. State Department says has ties to Lebanon's Hezbollah, occurred 265 km (165 mi) southeast of Baghdad in a village near the Iranian border, the U.S. military said. Twelve people were arrested, it said. "The joint security team was fired upon by individuals dispersed in multiple residential buildings ... members of the security team returned fire, killing individuals assessed to be enemy combatants," the military said in a statement. Although the Provincial Iraqi officials said many of the dead were innocent bystanders, and demanded compensation. They said eight people were killed.[9]

On July 13, 2010 General Ray Odierno named the Shi'ite militia Kata'ib Hizballah, which the U.S. State Department says has ties to Lebanon's Hezbollah, as the group behind the threats. "In the last couple weeks there's been an increased threat ... and so we've increased our security on some of our bases," Odierno told reporters at a briefing in Baghdad.[10]

On July 21, 2010 Iran is supporting three Shiite groups in Iraq that have been attempting to attack US bases, General Ray Odierno said. Kata'ib Hezbollah is one of these groups and the other groups are Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous), and the Promised Day Brigades.[11]

An Iraqi intelligence official estimated the group's size at 1,000 fighters and said the militants were paid between $300 to $500 per month.[12][13]

Recent activity[edit]

Wathiq al-Batat, a former Kata'ib Hezbollah leader, announced the creation of a new Shia milita, Mukhtar Army, on February 4, 2013, saying its aim is to defend Shiites and help the government combat terrorism.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Official site[edit]