The commander of Iran’s extraterritorial military operations recently met with different Iraqi Shiite militias, telling them to “prepare for proxy war”, according to a report by The Guardian.
Qassem Soleimani, Qods force met with all leaders of militias controlled by Iran three weeks ago, two senior unnamed intelligence officials are quoted as saying, and this heightened concern among U.S. officials that American targets in the region could be under a serious threat.
Previously, U.S. officials had referred to “intelligence” indicating there were threats against their interests and that was cited as a reason for dispatching more forces to the Persian Gulf. Soleimani’s meeting with Militias is now an additional piece of information leaked to the media.
The intelligence about Soleimani's meeting led to a series of diplomatic activities, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s sudden visit to Iraq last week to discuss the safety of U.S. personnel in the country, including a sizeable military contingent.
The U.S. has become very intolerant of Iran’s extraterritorial and often clandestine activities; financing and arming militant groups across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.