• Meet the Other Major Terrorist Killed in Soleimani Drone Strike …

    Surge Summary: It turns out Iranian terror chief Qasem Soleimani wasn’t the only bad guy killed in a U.S. drone strike last week. Iraqi terror leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also taken down – so two enemies of America are no longer able to threaten the nation and its citizens.

    We’ve heard a lot the past several days of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qasem Soleimani who was killed in a U.S. drone strike ordered by Donald Trump last week – but he wasn’t the only major-league terrorist terminated in that operation. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also taken down; and that needed to happen as well.

    PJ Media’s Rick Moran reports he was

    a top Iraqi paramilitary leader whose long, bloody career includes attacks on American and other Western embassies, as well as being a founder of Kata’ib Hezbollah, a group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.

    In 2009, the U.S. sanctioned both al-Muhandis and Kata’ib Hezbollah as terrorist entities.

    In a truly startling statement, Moran writes:

    In some ways, killing al-Muhandis was more significant than the death of Soleimani. He’s been an active terrorist against the U.S. since the occupation of Iraq and helped create the umbrella Shia militia group Hashd al-Shaabi. Hashd was originally founded to fight ISIS in Iraq, but has morphed into a shadow organization exercising political and military control of Iraq on behalf of Iran.

    Quoting Al-Jazeera:

    “Muhandis was demonstrative of how Iran built its network of proxies in Iraq,” said Phillip Smyth, a US-based researcher focused on Shia armed groups, as cited by AFP news agency.

    “He has history with basically every major network Iran had in Iraq. You would not have found a stronger ideal” of Iran’s influence in the country, he said.

    Of significance, Muhandis was sentenced to death in Kuwait for his involvement in the 1983 bomb attacks on the U.S. and French embassies. His execution, then, was not just a national security concern but an enforcement one as well — fully deserved justice visited upon a true villain.

    “Muhandis worked assiduously to develop the Hashd into an organisation that was neither subject to full prime ministerial command nor subordinate to the conventional security forces,” said [Washington Institute’s Michael] Knights, as cited by AFP news agency.

    Although he worked under Faleh al-Fayyadh, also Iraq’s national security adviser, al-Muhandis was widely recognised as the Hashd’s “real” leader, observers said.

    The group’s forces on the ground were fully loyal to him and he exercised control over its financial resources. He could have been described as “the central nervous system” of the IRGC’s [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp] Quds Force in Iraq, Knights wrote last year.

    The Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) is ostensibly part of the Iraqi security services. But Muhandis ran it as his own little fiefdom, defying the Iraqi government on occasion in order to do the bidding of his masters in Tehran.

    “Today the PMF and allied militias control large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria, where they are allied with President Bashar Assad and the Lebanese Hezbollah. Israel and the U.S. view the groups as part of an aggressive Iranian campaign to dominate the region.

    Over the summer, PMF groups blamed Israel for mysterious drone attacks that targeted their positions in Iraq. The strikes eventually lead to the restructuring of the PMF to integrate them into the Iraqi military. The restructuring was approved by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.” [Al-Jazeera]

    Moran asserts Muhandis’ death is a tremendous blow to Iranian influence in Iraq. Hashd exercised influence throughout the region so his death will be felt from Damascus to Beirut to Tehran. Many Shias in Iraq regarded the 66-year-old Iraqi commander as something of a hero. But, reminds Moran, here are the facts:

    [H]e was a murderous, hateful fanatic who was an enemy of the United States and a threat to American interests and personnel.

    So it turns out the drone attack was doubly good news for the United States and for those opposed to barbarism’s prevailing in the Middle East. Two of civilization’s implacable enemies have been swept from the field.

    H/T: PJ Media/Rick Moran

    H/T: Al-Jazeera

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge. 

    Image: Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis; Adapted from: Fars News Agency, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72752664

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