Iraqi Militia Threatens to Arm Jordanians for Attacks Against Israel

Latest Developments

An Iraq-based Iranian proxy militia on April 1 threatened to retaliate against Israel for its airstrikes in Damascus and for the war in Gaza by arming fighters in Jordan. Abu al-Askari, spokesperson of Kata’ib Hezbollah — a U.S.-designated terrorist organization also known as the Hezbollah Brigades — blamed a “Zionist-American attack” for the deaths of two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) generals and five other IRGC officers in Syria earlier that day.

Al-Askari said that the Islamic Resistance of Iraq, an umbrella organization for Iranian proxy militias, has the capacity to arm 12,000 members of the “Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance in Jordan” with “light and medium weapons, anti-armor launchers, tactical missiles, millions [of rounds] of ammunition, and tons of explosives.” These arms would be used “in the defense of our Palestinian brothers” and “revenge for the honor of Muslims” killed by Israel, al-Askari continued. The spokesman also spoke about the prospect of “cutting off” the land border between Jordan and Israel as soon as the group receives approval from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Expert Analysis

“When discussing Iraqi militias, it is important to distinguish between rhetoric and reality. Considering Abu al-Askari’s recent comments, it’s important to recognize that he may be capitalizing on the tense atmosphere in Jordan, where protests against Israel are ongoing. It’s also noteworthy to mention that there is no concrete evidence to support the claim that Kata’ib Hezbollah has the capacity to arm 12,000 fighters in a foreign nation.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

“King Abdullah will have a tough time balancing his hostile rhetoric directed at the State of Israel and his desire not to have outside actors destabilize his kingdom in the pursuit of the king’s implied goals.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Ongoing Anti-Israel Protests in Jordan

On March 31, Jordanian activists renewed calls to demonstrate against the Gaza war and demand an end to Israeli-Jordanian peace. On March 26, Jordanian riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters who attempted to storm the Israeli embassy. Since March 24, thousands of protestors in Amman have converged daily near the Israeli embassy, where Jordanian security forces are increasingly struggling to contain the unrest. The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, aligned with Hamas, has encouraged and participated in such protests. Clashes between Jordanian security forces and protesters have also erupted within Jordan’s largest Palestinian refugee camp. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has about 2.2 million people registered as Palestinian refugees in Jordan, most of whom possess Jordanian citizenship.

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