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Iran-backed militias smuggling weapons to Russia: ‘Whatever is anti-US makes us happy’

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According to a report from the Guardian, Iranian-backed militias in Iraq are helping to arm Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. The militias are smuggling weapons into Russia, according to the report.

The report cited members of the Iranian-backed militias as well as regional intelligence services familiar with the matter. RPGs, anti-tank missiles, and Brazilian-designed rocket launcher systems are among the weapons being smuggled.

Iranian authorities also donated one of their Bavar 373 missile systems, a source who helped organize the transfer told the Guardian. “RPGs and anti-tank missiles belonging to the Hashd al-Shaabi Shia militia group were transported from Iraq to Iran on March 26 where they were collected by Russian authorities who then shipped them to Russia by sea, a commander of the militia branch that controls the crossing told the British daily.”

Hashd al-Shaabi also dismantled Brazilian-designed Astros II rocket launcher systems on April 1 for shipment to Russian forces. “We don’t care where the heavy weapons go [because we don’t need them at the moment],” one Hashd al-Shaabi source told The Guardian. “Whatever is anti-US makes us happy.”

Times of Israel reports:

The reported weapons transfers represent the latest progression in Russia’s relations with Iran as Moscow finds itself increasingly isolated and struggling to keep up on the battlefield as Western sanctions continue to pile up.

The smugglings also risk hampering US support for the Iraqi government and army, which have hosted American troops since 2003.

US officials said that Russia has also been leaning on China to send its own military aid for use in the Ukraine invasion, according to The Guardian.

Ukraine has also accused Georgia of helping Russia receive sanctioned military equipment.

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Middle East

Islamic Republic arresting women who refuse to wear the mandated Hijab

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The Islamic Republic of Iran is emboldening its prowess as it seems to be getting away with instigating unrest in the Middle East. Over the weekend, Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones against Israel. But inside the country, authoritarian reign is also rearing its ugly head. On April 3, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reiterated his support for the Hijab coverings for women. He stated that “Hijab is a Sharia-based obligation that must not be abrogated. Hijab is also a legal obligation, and everyone must respect the law.” morality police have been reported to be involved in a new crackdown on women in the country who refuse to wear the mandated hijab in public places.

On April 15, Iranian journalist Diana Ghalibaf posted on X that she had been arrested for a hijab violation and was later returned to jail for her subsequent publicizing of the event. The regime’s national police chief, Ahmad-Reza Radan, announced in an April 11th press release that more attention would be paid to public dress standards.

Foreign Desk News reports: “Social media images of the new efforts have shown violent arrests by both male and female officers, including the use of Tasers to force compliance. One new tactic appears to be the deployment of plainclothes officers near the confrontation sites to prevent bystanders from interfering with any of the investigations.”

 

 

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