Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba
Established By: Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi
Also Known As: Harakat al-Nujaba
Country Of Origin: Iraq
Leaders: Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi
Key Members: Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, Hashim al-Mousawi
Operational Area: Iraq, Syria
Number Of Members: Unknown
Involved In: Armed attacks
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Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba is an Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitary group. The group take its name from a speech by Zaynab bint Ali, an early Islamic Shia holy figure who is believed to have said the following after she was taken to the court of the Ummayad caliph Yazid I, as a prisoner following the Battle of Karbala: “It’s a wonder and the greatest one that the nobles of the party of God are murdered by the freed slaves of the Party of Satan”. The group has its own tv channel named Alnujaba TV.
HHN emerged from the Iraqi paramilitary Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) in 2013 and is led by AAH co-founder Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi. al-Kaabi claims that, after a period of militant inactivity, the Syrian civil war motivated him to form the militia. He denies it emerged from a “split” with AAH, but that he chose not to unify with them due to disagreements. The two groups still share close affinity, often simultaneously commemorating martyrs.
The group openly receives training, arms, and military advice from Iran. They have released a nasheed praising Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Suleimani. They follow the Iranian government’s ideology of Vilayat-e Faqih, and al-Kaabi has stated that he would overthrow the Iraqi government or fight alongside the Yemeni Houthis if ordered by Grand Ayatollah Khamenei.
The group was one of the first Iraqi paramilitaries to send fighters to Syria, doing so since their formation in 2013. They have had an increasing role in the country after a significant boost to recruitment efforts took place in 2015. They were a major participant in the 2015 South Aleppo offensive and the breaking of the siege of the Shia towns Nubl and Zahraa.
In December 2014, ABNA.ir published photos of Iranian-built Yasir UAV (an unlicensed copy of the American ScanEagle) claimed in use with Harakat Hizballah al-Nujaba. In April 2015, al-Kaabi claimed the group had suffered 126 casualties, including 38 in Syria.
The group is divided into four brigades:
-Liwa Ammar Ibn Yasir (Ammar Ibn Yasir Brigade)
-Liwa al-Hamad (Praise Brigade)
-Liwa al-Imam al-Hassan al-Mujtaba (Brigade of Imam Hassan the Chosen)
-Golan Liberation Brigade