Qalaat Jabbour – Hezbollah’s Main Training Complex in Lebanon and its Connection to the Iraqi Militia “Asaʾib Ahl al-Haq”

Qalaat Jabbour - Hezbollah's main training complex in Lebanon

The Qalaat Jabbour training complex is considered one of Hezbollah’s main training complexes. It is located near the town of Meidoun, in an area bordering the Beqaa and the Southern Lebanese Governorates, about 20 km north of Israel (Metula). The complex includes, among other things, lodging areas, logistics, shooting ranges, open terrain and urban warfare simulating complexes, and more.

Recently, this training complex was mentioned in the context of instructing and training operatives belonging to the Iraqi Shiite militia Asaʾib Ahl al-Haq (عصائب أهل الحق).

Some of the militia operatives were recruited by the Iranian Quds Force to be part of a terrorist infrastructure aimed at carrying out attacks against Western and Israeli targets around the world. The operatives were sent to Lebanon and trained by Hezbollah in the Qalaat Jabbour compound.

Asaʾib Ahl al-Haq (the militia’s name means the league of the righteous) is a long-established central Shiite militia operating in Iraq and Syria. The militia was founded in 2006 by Qais al-Khazali, who is still its leader. The militia numbers between 7,000 and 10,000 operatives. The militia is considered the most loyal to the Ayatollah’s regime, receiving support, funds, training, and weapons from the Iranian Quds Force.

The militia has close ties to Lebanese Hezbollah, assisting it with military training for its operatives from the outset. Some of its operatives may have participated alongside Hezbollah in the fighting against Israel in the Second Lebanon War in 2006. In 2017, Khazali was filmed during a visit to southern Lebanon, very close to the border with Israel near the community of Metula. During the visit, Khazali declared his ambitions regarding the fight against Israel…

Qais al-Khazali
Above: Qais al-Khazali (left), visiting the Lebanese border overlooking Israel declares his future fighting ambitions against Israel (December 2017).

The militia is considered one of the most active groups against American forces in Iraq, classified by the U.S. as a “Special Group.” This term is attributed to militia organizations operating in Iraq, supported by Iran through the IRGC Quds Force.

It is possible that the militia was involved, with Iranian backing, in the attempted assassination attack (November 06) on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s home in The Green Zone in Baghdad. Khazali was recorded just hours before the assassination attempt, threatening the Iraqi prime minister for killing protesters. It is known that the militia is deeply involved in Iraqi politics. Recently, Khazali expressed outrage over the results of the Iraqi parliamentary elections, in which their militia lost many seats, along with other militias. The election results may also have brought on the assassination attempt.

In addition to the fact that Hezbollah sends its operatives to instruct and train foreign proxy operatives outside Lebanon (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc.), Hezbollah also trains foreign operatives in Lebanon from those proxy countries. The training is carried out in coordination with the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The activity in Lebanon is more secretive and is usually intended for special and compartmentalized tasks that require special dedicated training.

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Tal Beeri

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