Al-Arabia – Iranian paramilitary forces deployed members of its “Al-Sabreen Brigade,” usually tasked with protecting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, on the Iraqi-Iranian borders, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Sunday.
According to the daily, Khamenei issued a direct order to deploy these forces which directly report to his office without referring to the Revolutionary Guards’ command, although the Quds Force is known to be charge of protecting Iranian borders and manages Iraqi militias in Iraq and in Syria.
Around 1,200 members from Al-Sabreen Brigade were deployed in addition to around 10,000 troops from the Revolutionary Guards’ special forces, according to the report.
Forces to protect Khamenei are usually deployed in the areas he wants to visit, the daily said, adding that it’s not clear whether Khamenei wants to visit the border areas or go to Iraq ahead of Ashura which will be marked in September.
If Khamenei visits Iraq, it will have come after the unprecedented tension between Baghdad and Tehran after the Iraqi government announced its commitment to implementing American sanctions against Iran.
The daily added that if Khamenei leaves Iran, it will be his first foreign trip since assuming the supreme leader post in 1989.
When contacted by Al Arabiya.net, sources close to the Iranian embassy in Baghdad did not comment on reports that Khamenei may visit Iraq.