In this second installment of our Inside Iran’s Middle East series we will be covering the bloody campaign the Iranian regime’s IRGC-Ground Forces Command has been waging in the Northwestern and Southeastern parts of the country. In the first installment, we covered the regime’s use of “reformers” to keep the west off-balance so that they can further their nuclear weapons program and eliminate the opposition. We won’t be talking about the toothless “Green Revolution” or the Monarchists or MeK living in exile abroad. No, we will be discussing the only viable opposition in the country in these next two installments: the Balochs and the Kurds.
Inside Iran’s Middle East: The “Reformers”
IRGC-Qods Force personnel in the Sacred Defense Week pass and review for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini (2013)
Source: Fars News Agency
We will start with the insurgency taking place in the Southeastern part of Iran. In this part of Iran, the dominate rebel group is Jundalla or “Soldiers of God.” This is the group of ethnic Baloch fighters. Their goal is the establishment of a “greater Balochistan” that consists of Southeastern Iran, all of Southern Afghanistan and Southwestern Pakistan. The organization was founded by Abdul Malik Rigi and his brother Abdul Hamid Rigi, and have between 700-2,000 active fighters with many more reported to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan operating in a “reserve” or support capacity. Financing of operations is done through the narcotics trade, opium specifically. As a result, Iran has been fighting its very own “War on Drugs” along the border with Afghanistan’s Nimroz Province.
Profile: Iran’s Jundullah militants
Iraq’s shadow on Balochistan
Waking up to the war in Balochistan
Karzai Admits Balochistan Unrest Emanating From Afghanistan, Claims Malik
Jundallah was formed in 2003, but the group really put itself on the map in 2005 when it ambushed then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s motorcade in Baluchistan Province that resulted in the death of one bodyguard and several more injured. The following year would see an incident involving Jundallah fighters blocking the main road near the town of Tasooki leaving 21 civilians killed. The year 2007 would see Jundallah increase the frequency and sophistication of their attacks throughout Zahedan, starting with a VBIED attack in 14 FEB 07 targeting an IRGC convoy that resulted in 18 IRGC killed. Jundallah would follow up two days later by bombing a girls school in Zahedan City. What came next was mass abductions of Iranian truck drivers, who were brought to one of their bases inside Pakistan. The Pakistani Army would later free them. However, this would not stop the Iranian regime from accusing the Pakistani government of providing material support to Jundallah fighters.
Sunni group vows to behead Iranians
Leader of the Jundallah Movemement, Abd Al-Malek Al-Rigi: We Train Fighters in the Mountains and Send Them into Iran
Foreign devils in the Iranian mountains
Guns smuggling on the rise in Balochistan
the late-Jundallah Leader Abdul Malik Rigi
The truth is Jundallah did receive support from the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by having fighters train at terrorist camps run by the intelligence organization (it is important to note that the ISI has been operating on its own agenda separate from that of the actual government – more on that in a future article). The Rigi brothers spent the 2005-2009 time period cultivating ties with the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and al-Qaida senior leadership. A quid pro quo deal was made where Jundallah fighters would continue to receive training, material support and AQ embeds in exchange for assistance in facilitating the travel of senior leaders across the AF-PAK border. Jundallah also assisted AQ in financing their operations through the drug trade by helping them secure the logistical supply routes. The AQ operatives who spent time embedded with Jundallah in Southeastern Iran would later become the core of what we know today as the “Khorasan Group,” the special cell AQ senior leadership established to handle “sensitive operations.”
As a whole the American mainstream media got it completely wrong about KG, because they were not in Iran to “work with the Iranians” – they were there to kill Iranians. In fact, KG leader Muhsin al-Fadhli (who is very much alive contrary to Western media reports) was the point-man for this endeavor. Fadhli was able to go wherever he pleased with the assistance of Jundallah fighters who had a well-established safe-house network in that part of the country. More importantly, he’s one of the AQ operatives that has a great deal of experience fighting the Iranian military (thanks to his time spent fighting alongside Jundallah). The AQ senior leadership decision to deploy Fadhli and an element of KG to Syria was a bid to revitalize al-Nusra Front efforts to regain the initiative against the Assad regime, the IRGC-Qods Force and Basij Resistance Force units supporting regime forces.
The History and Capabilities Of The Khorasan Group
The Khorasan Group: Threat To The Homeland?
Khorasan Group is a Bigger Threat Than ISIS?
Report: Former head of al Qaeda’s network in Iran now operates in Syria
Who supports Jundallah?
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