Analysts have mostly focused on the risk of retaliation from Syria itself as the Obama Administration prepares to launch a war against them, but regional opposition could spark retaliation from other sources.
That includes al-Nujaba, a key Shi’ite militant faction in Iraq which has promised to retaliate against US interests in Iraq and across the region in retaliation for the American attack on Syria.
The overall capabilities of Nujaba aren’t clear, but the group has loyalty of a lot of militia factions left over from the US occupation of Iraq, including Mehdi Army fighters and Iraqi Hezbollah.
The group has sent some of its fighters to neighboring Syria, initially to defend Shi’ite holy sites and at times also clashing with Sunni rebels inside Syria. The sectarian nature of the war has made it regional, and the US attack could rapidly suck America into the religious conflict.