Forced Stand Down: The Making of an Iranian Ally in Iraq

Iran-aligned armed group Kata’ib Hezbollah, responsible for the drone attack on the Jordanian-Syrian border that killed three US troops and injured dozens, has announced a suspension of attacks on US forces. This came after pressure from Tehran and ruling Iraqi parties, who were concerned that the group had crossed a red line. The move is seen as an attempt to avoid a regional conflict and maintain the status quo in Iraq. However, there are concerns that a forceful US response could disrupt this delicate balance and lead to further violence. Meanwhile, Iraqi factions such as the Badr Organization and Asaib Ahl al-Haq have chosen to sit out the recent attacks on US forces, leading to rare public disagreement with hardline factions. The situation remains precarious, with the potential for escalation if the US responds forcefully to the recent attacks.