Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah announced on November 25 that it had joined the temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and halted attacks against Israel.
In a statement, the armed faction further announced a “reduction in the pace of escalation” of attacks against United States forces in Iraq and Syria.
Kata’ib Hezbollah is a key faction of the so-called Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI), which is backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRI carried out at least 73 attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria and launched three others against Israel in response to the war on Gaza.
U.S. retaliatory strikes targeted several positions of Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq earlier this month, killing a number of its fighters.
In addition, Kata’ib Hezbollah is accused of being behind the kidnapping of Israeli-Russian researcher Elizabeth Tsurkov last March in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. A video statement by Tsurkov was released earlier this month, in which the researcher demanded an end to the Israeli operation in Gaza and increased pressure for her release.
The temporary ceasefire in Gaza didn’t not only lead to de-escalation in Iraq and Syria, but also in Lebanon where Hezbollah also halted attacks against Israel.
Meanwhile, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) in Yemen, who are also backed by Iran, are yet to clarify their position on the ceasefire.
Overall, the ceasefire in Gaza, which was brokered by the United States, Egypt and Qatar, has been so far a success. Dozens of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners were released, hundreds of aid trucks entered the Strip and clashes in the region largely came to a halt. Despite this, Israel appears to be reluctant to extend the ceasefire.