Iran Redeploys Shiite Militias Excluded from Mosul on the Syrian, Saudi, Jordanian Borders

President Barack Obama has finally decided to push the main pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias out of the concentration of military strength lining up for a major offensive to recover Mosul from its two-year occupation by the Islamic State. (See DEBKA Weekly 724 of Sept 16: Obama Pins His Legacy on Vanquishing ISIS at Raqqa and Mosul.)
The decision was taken in the light of the mistakes made by US commanders in the June battle for liberating Fallujah. The Shiite Badr Organizaton and the Popular Mobilization Militia-PMU were then assigned to stay out of the Sunni city. But, in violation of a prior agreement, their fighters nonetheless surged into parts of Fallujah and caused mayhem.
For Mosul, it was agreed that only the Shiite factions deemed by the Americans to be moderate would be allowed to participate in the offensive.
But behind the backs of the US commanders and intelligence an Iranian Plan B was being cooked up for the militias by Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iranian Middle East warfronts, PMU leader Hadi al-Amiri and the Badr Organization Chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhanda.
It was designed to steal from the United States the kudos for a Mosul victory and making Iran the ultimate victor and ruling influence in Iraq.
DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence sources can reveal the trio’s alternative plan for the 120,000-strong combined militia forces.
1. The militia factions excluded by the US from the Mosul offensive are to be redeployed on Iraq’s borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to create an iron ring for caging in the US-Iraqi-Kurdish forces that capture Mosul and preventing them from asserting control of Iraq’s borders.
In the northwest, the US, Baghdad and Irbil will forfeit control of the traffic between Iraq and Syria and have to depend on Iran’s say-so for their cross-border movements.
Shortly after this issue was sent out, the first 15,000 Shiite militiamen were deployed on the Iraqi-Syrian border armed with tanks and artillery.
2. Elements of the Badr Organization, which invaded Fallujah, advanced this week into the western Iraqi province of Anbar, the bastion of Iraq’s Sunni tribes and seized tracts of land between the province and the Jordanian border.
3. PMU militia units are also strung out along Iraq’s Saudi border, menacing the kingdom from the east, after Iran failed to threaten Saudi Arabia from the south by means of its surrogate, the Yemen insurgency.
Both the Jordanian and Saudi kingdoms are rushing military reinforcements to their borders with Iraq.

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