Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) forces in Iran’s Ahwaz region (a.k.a. Khuzestan province) are on high alert after gunmen belonging to the Ahwazi Liberation movement launched an attack on the IRGC’s regional headquarters in the regional capital, Ahwaz, on Sunday.
The gunmen, belonging to the Mohiuddin al-Nasser Brigades, the military wing of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), launched the attack on the IRGC headquarters building in the city’s Al Thawra neighbourhood in western Ahwaz, spraying it with gunfire from Kalashnikov sub-machine guns, in retaliation for the latest killing of young Ahwazis by Iranian security forces.
The Brigades gunmen attacked the Bani Hashem headquarters, which is used by the Revolutionary Guards as a base for intelligence missions.
After using Kalashnikovs to shower the HQ building with bullets, the gunmen engaged in fierce gun battles with IRGC personnel before fleeing the scene, with no word to date on the casualties among the Revolutionary Guards forces.
Iranian security forces immediately cordoned off the entire Al Thawra neighbourhood, setting up checkpoints to search all Ahwazi citizens entering or leaving the district.
The Bani Hashem HQ building is one of the most infamous IRGC intelligence centres in the city, being used by IRGC personnel to gather information on the movements of Ahwazi rebels and anti-regime dissidents in the neighbourhood and surrounding districts in the west of the city, with Ahwazi resistance fighters launching a number of attacks on the notorious centre previously.
Sunday’s attack came a few weeks after Iranian security forces opened fire apparently randomly at a civilian vehicle in the centre of the town of Shush(Susa)city on June 23, killing one of the occupants, 23-year-old Hussam Al Dabat, and severely wounding another, who remains in a critical condition. The regime forces justified the attack on unarmed civilians by claiming that the young men in the car had not obeyed the orders of the police, according to eyewitnesses.
This was the latest in a number of similar shootings of unarmed citizens by Iranian forces on the pretext of the individuals failing to obey the orders of traffic police or security personnel manning checkpoints, with three Ahwazi citizens killed in these shootings since May of this year, with the attack on the IRGC headquarters building apparently a response to these abuses.
The ASMLA’s military wing previously launched a campaign of attacks to sabotage oil pipelines in Ahwaz in 2005 in protest at the regime’s brutal discriminatory policies towards the Ahwazi Arab people, with the most recent attack last month on the ‘Johor al-Sabah’ oilfield northeast of Ahwaz city forcing the Iranian forces to introduce a state of high alert. It should be noted that the oil and gas resources in the Ahwaz region are the primary source of funding for the regime’s economy.
The ASMLA has justified the attacks on oil and gas pipelines stating that the Iranian regime uses the revenue from them to finance terrorist organisations regionally and fund its expansionist regional project of theocratic rule.
The ASMLA also warned international oil companies against investing in the region’s oilfields, whose resources make up 87 percent of the oil wealth claimed by the Iranian regime, warning that its military wing will carry out operations against their facilities.