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Iran's new group in Iraq: Saraya al-Khorasani

Saraya al-Khorasani appears to have more direct contact and cooperation with Iran than other groups and militias it has ties with.
A fighter from the Shi'ite Badr Brigade militia wears a religious flag as he fires towards the air at a checkpoint recently taken from militants of the Islamic State outside the town of Amerli September 5, 2014. The highway, which continues south to Baghdad, is now controlled by Shi'ite militia fighters and the Kurdish Peshmerga. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT) - RTR45475

When the major city of Mosul was occupied by the paramilitary forces of the Islamic State group (IS), Tehran was alarmed even before Washington. IS’ quick attacks and unexpected expansion confused the leaders and politicians of neighboring countries for weeks. There were many discussions regarding how Iran might respond to the crisis in Iraq. However, as always, Tehran was able formulate its own military and security strategies, and by utilizing the Quds Force, a special unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was able block the progress of the forces of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In this case, Iran extended its policy of taking an advisory role, as well as providing support for Shiite groups from Syria to Iraq. The IRGC’s Quds Force is in charge of protecting the military and security interests of Iran outside its borders. Quds Force head Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani showed Iran’s determination in fighting against IS by being personally present in Iraq.

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