Nasr al-Shammary

Nasr al-Shammary is the deputy secretary-general of the Iran-backed Iraqi militia Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba. Nujaba has been at the forefront of the fight against ISIS alongside the Syrian army, Hezbollah, and other Iran-backed Iraqi militias.“Top Iraqi Militia Leader: Fighting for Iran under Soleimani's leadership Is “Blessing from God”,” Middle East Institute, April 5, 2017, http://www.mei.edu/publications/top-iraqi-militia-leader-fighting-iran-under-soleimanis-leadership-blessing-god; Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, “Hashd Brigade Numbers Index,” Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog, October 31, 2017, http://www.aymennjawad.org/2017/10/hashd-brigade-numbers-index. Shammary is avowedly anti-American and has threatened U.S. forces throughout the Middle East.

Nujaba formed in 2013 after ISIS began to capture large swaths of Syria and Iraq.Ali Hashem, “Iraq’s Shiite forces claim victory over IS,” Al-Monitor, March 16, 2015, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/03/iraq-shiite-hezbollah-nujaba-victory-islamic-state.html. The militia is part of Iraq’s Haashid Shaabi, the umbrella group of anti-ISIS Shiite militias also called Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The PMF coordinate anti-ISIS military ventures between the Syrian army and Iranian-sponsored militias.“Top Iraqi Militia Leader: Fighting for Iran under Soleimani's leadership Is “Blessing from God”,” Middle East Institute, April 5, 2017, http://www.mei.edu/publications/top-iraqi-militia-leader-fighting-iran-under-soleimanis-leadership-blessing-god; Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, “Hashd Brigade Numbers Index,” Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog, October 31, 2017, http://www.aymennjawad.org/2017/10/hashd-brigade-numbers-index. In August 2019, Shammary declared the United States to be an enemy of the PMF. He labeled the U.S. Embassy in Iraq a “Den of Espionage,” which he claimed was recruiting media activists to spread propaganda in “soft warfare” against Shiite values.“Shia militia group says it will topple any Iraqi gov. hostile to Iran in ‘weeks,’” Kurdistan 24, August 6, 2019, https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/bf35833b-2b55-4df3-b6ec-1a4cf5da2d78.

Shammary is loyal to the Iranian regime, even above his native Iraq. Nujaba adheres to the Khomeinist doctrine of Velayat-e Faqih, or Guardianship of the Jurist, which places religious oversight over all aspects of the government.Ali Hashem, “Iraq’s Shiite forces claim victory over IS,” Al-Monitor, March 16, 2015, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/03/iraq-shiite-hezbollah-nujaba-victory-islamic-state.html; Babak Dehghanpisheh, “The Iraqi militia helping Iran carve a road to Damascus,” Reuters, September 22, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/mideast-crisis-iraq-nujaba/. Nujaba Secretary-General Akram al-Kaabi has declared that he would follow any order from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, including overthrowing the Iraqi government.“State Department Terrorist Designation of Harakat al-Nujaba (HAN) and Akram ‘Abbas al-Kabi,” U.S. Department of State, March 5, 2019, https://www.state.gov/state-department-terrorist-designation-of-harakat-al-nujaba-han-and-akram-abbas-al-kabi/. After meeting with former secretary of the Iranian National Security Council Saeed Jalili in Tehran in August 2019. Shammari threatened that any Iraqi government that takes a step against Iran would be topped within weeks.“Shia militia group says it will topple any Iraqi gov. hostile to Iran in ‘weeks,’” Kurdistan 24, August 6, 2019, https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/bf35833b-2b55-4df3-b6ec-1a4cf5da2d78.

On January 3, 2020, a U.S. airstrike in Iraq killed Kata’ib Hezbollah leader and PMF deputy commander Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, a.k.a. Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, and Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. On January 7, Iraqi militant groups called for a joint response to the United States. Shammary issued a statement that the PMF will regroup into a single entity to confront Washington, which he accused of heading a “war against the resistance.”Agence France-Presse, “Iraqi armed factions call meeting to begin anti-US fight,” Jordan Times (Amman) January 7, 2020, http://www.jordantimes.com/news/region/iraqi-armed-factions-call-meeting-begin-anti-us-fight. Shammary promised to “wage a war against the American presence in all parts of the region that we can reach,” claiming thousands of U.S. Marines were within range.Agence France-Presse, “Iraqi armed factions call meeting to begin anti-US fight,” Jordan Times (Amman) January 7, 2020, http://www.jordantimes.com/news/region/iraqi-armed-factions-call-meeting-begin-anti-us-fight. On January 13, Shammary attended a meeting in Qom, Iran, between Iraqi militant leaders and Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr to create what Shammary called a “united resistance” to extricate U.S. and other foreign troops from Iraq.Arwa Ibrahim, “Sadr calls for ‘million-man march’ against US presence in Iraq,” Al Jazeera, January 15, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/sadr-calls-million-man-march-presence-iraq-200114180201883.html.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba
Type(s) of Organization:
Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), “special forces”
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Iranian-sponsored, Shiite, Jihadist, Khomeinist, global Islamist revolutionary
Position(s):
Deputy secretary-general

Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (HHN) is an Iranian-backed, U.S.-designated militia formed in 2013 by Akram al-Kaabi, co-founder of the IRGC-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH).

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