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Iran commander requests Iraqi armed groups to reduce attacks on U.S.; groups comply.

Iran Urges Iraqi Militias to Halt Attacks on U.S. Troops

Iranian Commander’s Visit Leads to Pause in Attacks

A visit by the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force to Baghdad has led to a pause in attacks on U.S. troops by Iran-aligned groups in Iraq, multiple Iranian and Iraqi sources told Reuters, saying it was a sign Tehran wants to prevent a broader conflict.

Qaani’s Intervention Yields Positive Results

While one faction did not initially agree to Qaani’s request, most others did. The next day, elite Iran-backed group Kataib Hezbollah announced it was suspending attacks.

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Impact on Iraqi-U.S. Relations

Following the subsequent lull in hostilities, on Feb. 6 talks resumed with the United States about ending the U.S. presence in Iraq.

U.S.-Iran Dynamics

The United States asserts that Iran has a high level of control over what it calls Iranian “proxies” in the region. Tehran says it has funded, advised and trained allies but they decide operations on their own.

Security Measures and Future Outlook

With Iran bracing for a U.S. response to the Jordan attack, Qaani made the visit quick and did not leave the airport, “for strict security reasons and fearing for his safety,” the senior Iraqi security source said.

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U.S.-Iraq Relations and the Role of Armed Groups

Shi’ite armed groups who spent years attacking U.S. forces in the wake of the 2003 invasion went on to fight on the same side as, though not in direct partnership with, U.S. soldiers against Islamic State until it was territorially defeated.

Foreign Forces’ Presence in Iraq

He has kept the door open to continued U.S. presence in a different format via a bilateral deal.

Response to the Killing of Kataib Hezbollah Leader

At a funeral service for Saadi, senior Kataib Hezbollah official and PMF military chief Abdul Aziz al-Mohammedawi vowed a response for the latest killing, but stopped short of announcing a return to violence. The response would be based on consensus, he said, including with the government.

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