US to designate Iran-backed Iraqi militia as a terror group – Pentagon deploys 3K troops to ME
The United States is sending approximately 3,000 soldiers to the Middle East after thousands of Muslim terrorists stormed the compound of the US Embassy in Baghdad.
The news comes hours after the elimination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Iran’s extra-territorial terror group Quds Force and one of the country’s most powerful figures, but US defense officials said the deployments were not in response to the strike.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet announced by the Pentagon, said the troops are from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
They are in addition to about 700 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne who deployed to Kuwait earlier this week after the storming of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad by Iran-backed terrorists and their supporters.
The US plans to designate the Iranian-backed Iraqi Asaib Ahl al-Haq terror group, which was behind the attack at the US Embassy, as a foreign terrorist organization, the State Department said on Friday
The State Department also said that it had designated Muslim terrorist Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and his brother Laith al-Khazali, another leader of the terror group, as specially designated global terrorists.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in the statement that the terror group and its leaders “use violence and terror to further the Iranian regime’s efforts to undermine Iraqi sovereignty.”
The designations freeze any US-related assets of the terror group and the two leaders, generally prohibit Americans from doing business with them and make it a crime to provide support or resources to Asaib Ahl al-Haq.