According to an article in Track Persia, “IRGC officials have for decades talked about the creation of an ‘international Basij force’ or ‘axis of resistance’ to fight against the United States and its regional allies, particularly Israel. In his remarks, Qaani was referring to Afghan, Pakistani, Lebanese, Iranian and Iraqi Shiite militiamen fighting under Quds Force’s leadership in Syria and the broader region. He mentioned that Damascus has become the epicenter of the ‘international Basij’ as Shiites from different countries come there to fight. Qaani has previously pointed out that the Shiite militia groups in Syria and Iraq will fight in other regional conflicts once ISIS is defeated. Israel tops the list of their next target.”

IRGC Chief Commander Major General Ali Jafari, last July, said of the effectiveness of the “international Islamic Basij” before a gathering of Iran’s Basij commanders in Tehran, “Today, we must declare that one of the orders of Imam [Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic], which is the formation of an international Islamic Basij, has been materialized.” He added that the Iranian-led militia forces in Syria and Iraq have scored notable achievements in recent years, “The valuable experience of Basij has now been exported to other countries because it is a model for resistance against the Arrogance [U.S.]. Therefore, it is being exported to other regional countries speedily,” he added. “The fulfillment of the promises of the Islamic Revolution has lately gained significant momentum.” Jafari also said, “We will witness a more effective and expansive role of the international Islamic Basij.”

Said to be the IRGC, the Quds Force is responsible for external operations. Major General Qassem Soleimani is its leader. The Quds Force has been implementing Iran’s power strategies in the region — from South and Central Asia to the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America.

The Quds Forceis alleged to have provided assistance to, and at times directly commanded, several militia and terrorist groups in the region. The U.S. Department of Treasury designated the Quds Force in 2007, for providing “material support to the Taliban, Lebanese Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).”