Kataib Hezbollah, the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group believed responsible for the killing of three American soldiers at the Tower 22 base in Jordan Sunday, has declared it will suspend all military and security operations against US forces. A statement released by the group said attacks on the "occupation forces" are suspended to avoid "embarrassment for the Iraqi government." An Iraqi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the decision to suspend hostilities was the result of negotiations by the US, Iraq, and the Iranian militias to "prevent escalation.."
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
'Fighting has been prescribed for you, and it is dislikable to you, and perhaps you hate something that is good for you and love something that is bad for you, and God knows and you do not know.'
The valorous path is adverse and difficult, and its burdens are great, and the free people who proceed on it realise that however high the costs grow, they are insignificant in the face of realising God’s contentment and supporting the oppressed. The Islamic Resistance- Kata’ib Hezbollah took the decision to support our oppressed people in steadfast Gaza, doing so by its own will and without any intervention from others: in fact, our brothers in the axis, especially in the Islamic Republic, do not know how we conduct our work of jihad, and often they opposed putting pressure on and escalating against the American occupation forces in Iraq and Syria. Out of compliance on our part with fulfilling our humanitarian and ideological responsibility, we have precisely implemented wisdom, circumspection and observation of the Shari‘i and ethical balances in the harshest and most intense circumstances.
So as we announce the suspension of military and covert operations against the occupation forces- in order to avoid putting the Iraqi government in an embarrassing position- we will continue to defend our people in Gaza by other means, and we counsel the free and courageous mujahidin of Kata’ib Hezbollah to engage in passive defence (temporarily), if any American attack takes place against them : ‘Certainly God will establish a matter that was destined, and to God belong affairs.’
Secretary General of Kata’ib Hezbollah
Abu Husayn al-Hamidawi
Translation via Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi's substack Aymenn's Monstrous Publications.
“Clearly what happened was a step too far and put everyone at a crossroads,” the official said.
All of this comes as the Biden White House is dithering on if or how to respond to the killing of three Georgia reservists.
Sources in the Iraqi government say that the suspension of hostilities is tied to negotiations between the US and Iraq for the US to remove all forces in that country.
Suspension of Kataib Hezbollah attacks against the US now said to be linked to negotiations over a US withdrawal from Iraq, per an advisor to the Iraqi PM.— Jonathan Schanzer (@JSchanzer) January 30, 2024
If this is true, yet another display of total weakness on the part of the WH.
Hoping it's not true. https://t.co/JAEGPcL2wH
Pentagon spokesman Matt Miller was asked for a response to Kataib Hezbollah's statement.
“I just want to make it a practice not to respond to statements from terrorist organizations from the podium here,” US Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller said when Rudaw’s @diyarkurda asked him about Kataib Hezbollah's decision to suspend all attacks on US troops. pic.twitter.com/LwJzoWelUf— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) January 30, 2024
I just want to make it a practice not to respond to statements from terrorist organizations from the podium here. I will say, as I have said before, that we will hold accountable any organization that we find to be responsible for attacks on US personnel in the region.
In a normal world, this offer would be a strong contender for the "too little, too late" award. Not only were the American soldiers killed in Iraq, and therefore, not a part of any "occupation," they were actually there saving Iran's bacon by supporting the fight against ISIS, a battle Iran was unable to win. If Kataib Hezbollah turned over all the planners and leaders of this attack for extraction to a federal lockup, there might be a point of negotiation. What they are saying is, "We killed your guys, and now we're calling a time-out."
But this isn't a normal world. This is a world in which we are led by a man whose biggest thrill each day is his soft-serve ice cream. National security adviser Jake Sullivan is so enamored with his own cleverness at calibrating responses to avoid "escalation" that he has created two meaningless wars in the Middle East and is doing his damndest to turn a winnable war between Ukraine and Russia into a bloody, indecisive, multigenerational stalemate.
As my colleague Andrew Malcolm reported, the Biden national security apparatus is not only giving Kataib Hezbollah time to respond to any retaliation (we're about 48 hours past the event), he's giving them a list of targets, too.
US officials have been woofing about a US response that will be carried out "over the course of several days" and striking "multiple targets." That may happen, but what is clear is that Biden is more concerned about making Iran mad than he is about defending our forward-deployed troops or deterring attacks against them. Any attacks we make will have been coordinated in advance to ensure nothing and no one of importance is hurt. This is all an election-year charade to try to convince the folks in the backwoods that Joe Biden is one tough hombre while, in reality, doing nothing.