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U.S. Designates Iran-Backed Group HAAA as Global Terrorists

Gulan Media June 18, 2024 News
U.S. Designates Iran-Backed Group HAAA as Global Terrorists

In a significant move targeting Iran-backed militias in the Middle East, the United States has designated Harakat Ansar Allah al-Awfiya (HAAA) and its secretary-general as "Specially Designated Global Terrorists." The announcement, made on Monday by the U.S. State Department, marks a critical step in Washington's efforts to counter Iran's influence in the region.

HAAA, initially formed in 2014 as part of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), has been implicated in various acts threatening American interests. The group stands accused of involvement in the January drone attack on a U.S. military base in Jordan, which resulted in the deaths of three American service members and left 34 others injured. Additionally, HAAA has been linked to the kidnapping and killing of protesters during the 2019 Tishreen movement.

According to State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, HAAA has publicly declared its intention to continue targeting U.S. interests across Iraq and Syria. This designation underscores Washington's commitment to thwarting Iran's support for terrorism and disrupting the operational capabilities of Iran-backed militias in the region.

Haydar Muzhir Ma’lak al-Sa’idi, also known as Haider Ibrahim al-Gharawi, who serves as the secretary-general of HAAA, has been specifically identified in the designation. The U.S. government alleges that HAAA operates as part of the broader Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a network of militia groups aligned with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This network has claimed responsibility for more than 100 attacks targeting U.S. interests since mid-October, further intensifying tensions in the region.

The designation of HAAA as a terrorist organization follows a pattern of U.S. actions aimed at curbing Iranian influence and protecting American personnel and assets in Iraq and beyond. The move is likely to escalate diplomatic tensions between Washington and Tehran, which have been strained over issues including Iran's nuclear program and regional activities.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Mohsen Faraj al-Hamidawi, also known as Abu Hussein, secretary-general of Kataib Hezbollah—a U.S.-designated terrorist group aligned with Iran—has described HAAA as a key component of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. This acknowledgment underscores the interconnected nature of Iran-backed militias operating in the region.