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Crisis Brief: The Risk of an Iranian Military Response in Iraq

By Institute for the Study of War

Iran signaled it may send Iranian security forces to Iraq, ostensibly to secure the upcoming Arbae’en pilgrimage. But Iran may alternatively be preparing these Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) to help suppress Iraqi protests. The LEF previously helped the Bashar al Assad regime attempt to suppress the Syrian rebellion as early as 2011. The Iranian Regime has used it more recently to quell domestic protests. The unit may assist Iran’s proxies in Iraq to do the same. Nicholas Carl, an Iran expert from the Critical Threats Project, discusses this possibility and its implications with ISW’s Research Director Jennifer Cafarella.

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