„As Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have been closing in on Tal Afar, a town 33 miles west of Mosul, through the western Mosul axis, the organization’s top commanders have openly discussed their post-Islamic State plans to secure the border with Syria and push into the country. These senior militia commanders are closely affiliated and coordinated with Iran.
The spokesman of Iranian-backed Harakat al Nujaba vowed on Nov. 18 that the PMF, as ‚one of Iraq’s security institutions,‘ was ready to pursue the Islamic State into Syria per the request of the Syrian government and the approval of the Iraqi government and parliament. ‚It makes no difference whether we fight terrorism inside Iraq’s soil or outside of it,‘ the spokesman said. An offshoot of Asaib Ahl al Haq, Harakat al Nujaba was formed under Iranian supervision to fight in the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad regime and already has forces deployed to Aleppo.
On Nov. 16, Iranian-backed Badr Organization leader Hadi al Ameri told the press in Baghdad that Damascus had requested the PMF to deploy to Syria following the expulsion of the Islamic State from Iraq, and that the PMF would establish security by the border area, according to statements carried in Al Waght. Iraq’s Prime Minister Hayder al Abadi echoed Ameri on border security on the same day, and had announced to the media earlier that Baghdad and Damascus were coordinated for exerting border security. Abadi, however, did not immediately comment on deployment to Syria.“ (Amir Toumaj: „Analysis: Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces in Iran’s game plan“)