Iran Focus: London, Jun. 23 The deputy commander of U.S.-led forces in Iraq accused Iran on Friday of stepping up its support for Shiite extremists responsible for attacks on the Coalition. Iran Focus
London, Jun. 23 The deputy commander of U.S.-led forces in Iraq accused Iran on Friday of stepping up its support for Shiite extremists responsible for attacks on the Coalition.
Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, Commander of the Multi-National Corps Iraq (MNC-I), told reporters at the Pentagon via live satellite transmission that the Coalition had recently detained 50 high-value individuals, a few of whom were Shi’a extremists that had received training in Iran — those mostly being the mortar and rocket teams inside of Baghdad where they were trained in Iran and came in here to conduct attacks against not only coalition and Iraqi security forces, but government of Iraq targets inside of the Green Zone.
In terms of Iranian support to Sunnis, we have seen some indications that there has been some Iranian support and weapons to some small Sunni groups, not widespread. And again, I think it’s Iran’s attempt to continue to destabilize Iraq and inflict as many casualties as they can, frankly, on U.S. forces who are operating in Iraq. But we have not seen any increase in that. What I have seen, though, is a steady increase in support to Shi’a extremists. I think they are trying to surge their support to Shi’a extremists. We’ve seen an increased flow of training to mortar teams and rocket teams, we’ve seen an increase in some flow of weapons and munitions into Iraq. We are working very hard to cut those lines every day from Iran, General Odierno said.
I think it’s the [Iranian Revolutionary Guards”> Qods Force working with Iraqi surrogates that work inside of Iraq. It’s probably in some cases a network that was developed prior to Saddam Hussein’s downfall and they continue to operate, he added.