Hezbollah Issues

Iraq – Kataib Hezbollah

Kataib Hezbollah (Brigade for the Party of Allah) is an Iraqi Shia militia that was formed in 2003, serving as an umbrella organization for several Shiite militia groups, until 2007 when it announced a merge into a single organization.

Trained and armed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the group gained notoriety after attacking American and coalition forces using Iranian-supplied explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), a lethal type of improvised explosive device (IED).

In 2014, it joined Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to fight ISIS but maintained its close ties with Tehran. The then chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis declared “I will not shy away from mentioning the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran in terms of weapons, advising, and planning,”

With Iranian support, Kataib Hezbollah is responsible for the most sophisticated and effective attacks against U.S. forces and coalition allies in Iraq from 2007 to 2011 and 2018 to 2020. On December 27, 2019, it launched a rocket attack on the K1 military base near Kirkuk that killed a U.S. civilian contractor and wounded four U.S. service members and two Iraqi security forces personnel.