Iran’s top military commander has called on jihadists from all over the Middle East to prepare for a bloody insurgency if the US decides to throw down with the Persian nation.
As US forces mobilize around the region, Iranian General Qassem Suleimani has told allies in Iraq to “prepare for a proxy war,” rallying militias in Baghdad.
Suleimani is the same man that the BBC suggested might be the most powerful man in Iraq in 2014.
“His power comes from his influence on the ground,” said Hayder al-Khoei of the Royal Institute of International Affairs during an interview with the BBC. “He is not afraid to travel into Syria and Iraq.”
In response to the calls for violence, the US has evacuated non-essential personnel from Iraq and raised the threat level for American troops in the area.
According to the Daily Mail, Iran also scoffed at the presence of US warships in the Persian Gulf, claiming that they had missiles that could “easily reach” the carrier strike group.
Iran has long had ties to religious zealots and militia groups in the Middle East, and was a large supplier of IEDs and other equipment during the Iraq War.
Hezbollah, a Shiite-affiliated military sect, has also ramped up promises of mayhem should the US become involved in another conflict, and has no shortage of experience fighting advanced nations such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this year, former US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman referred to Hezbollah as Iran’s “most successful export.”
In response to Iran threatening American assets and claiming they would violate an established nuclear agreement, the US has begun deploying troops, aircraft and a carrier strike group to the region.
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