The US State Department’s annual special reports states the Iranian government is providing aid to groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas to sector Gaza from the West Bank in Palestine, and Shiite militias tied to Iran in Iraq have – you’ve seen a kind of decrease or lessening of specific targeting of U.S.personnel on the ground.
Thanks to the government of former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, following the security pact signed between Iraq and the US, and American troops evacuating Iraq, Iran’s government took advantage of the situation on the ground and assigned its own proxies in various Iraqi government bodies. On the other hand, by organizing militant groups Tehran kept on building its military power leverage that would come in use one day. After the fall of Mosul and the US getting involved in the formation of the new Iraqi government that lead to Maliki being set aside, the Iranian government saw all its strategic gains in Iraq going down the drain. Therefore, it assigned the Quds Force to carry out plots confronting the presence of US forces on the ground. Tehran placed the following measures in its agenda:
- Opposing the presence of US forces through its proxy militias and elements in government posts.
- By dispatching ground forces and artillery units, and having senior Quds Force commanders taking part in various battlefields across Iraq, Tehran attempted to gain tactical victories to portray US forces’ presence in Iraq as being in futile. This included its militants gaining victories in Amerli and Jurf al-Sakhar, and announcing in its propaganda that air strikes are of no significance and ground forces – belonging to us – play the major role. Whereas in all operations coalition air strikes have inflicted the significant and decisive blows to ISIS.
- Militant groups in the battlefields would spread rumors that American planes are dropping arms and ammo for ISIS.
- Militant groups in the battlefields would also spread rumors that coalition fighters are bombing our positions and we have no security in the front lines.
- All these rumors and demonizing efforts received widespread coverage in the militant’s affiliated media, forcing al-Abadi’s government to deny these rumors as utter lies.
- Iran entered the fight to liberate Tikrit with all its might, and they even asked coalition forces to not take part in these operations. They intended to supposedly inflict a blow to the US by taking over and occupying Tikrit, to portray the main force in Iraq being its own presence and affiliated militant groups. However, Iran’s plot failed miserably and they were pinned behind Tikrit’s gates. The Iraqi government fell to US’ feet for support, and after US forces delivered heavy blows to ISIS in Tikrit the militants were able to enter the city and carry out their criminal measures, as desired the Iranian regime.
One can reach this conclusion that the presence of the US in Iraq is intolerable for Tehran. Thus, it is focusing all its efforts through political elements such as Maliki and militant proxy groups.