While making a surprise visit to Iraqi proxy militias in Baghdad last week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards intelligence chief Hossein Taeb reportedly urged the militias to increase their attacks on United States targets, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Three militia and two Iraqi security sources told Reuters that the Iranian delegation met several Iraqi militia leaders and conveyed “the [Iranian] supreme leader’s message to them about keeping up the pressure on U.S. forces in Iraq until they leave the region.”

Furthermore, several militia sources were quoted as saying that the Iranians advised them to increase their attacks against U.S. forces but not to go too far to avoid a serious escalation. Taeb also urged Iraqi proxy militias to attack U.S. forces in Syria. 

Amwaj media claims that Taeb and a “large delegation” also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at his office inside the fortified Green Zone. The Iranians did not coordinate with any of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which has not been their usual operating procedure.