News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqGeneral: Iraq groups supported by Iran

General: Iraq groups supported by Iran


AP: There’s been no letup in attacks and weapons-smuggling by Iranian-backed Shiite militants in some parts of Iraq’s capital, the area’s top U.S. commander said Monday. The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s been no letup in attacks and weapons-smuggling by Iranian-backed Shiite militants in some parts of Iraq’s capital, the area’s top U.S. commander said Monday.

The comment by Army Col. Don Farris contrasts with suggestions in recent weeks that Iran was slowing the flow of bombs, money and other support to Shiite extremists in Iraq.

Farris is commander for coalition forces in northern Baghdad, an area including the huge Shiite slum of Sadr City, which he called “really a hub for these activities coming from Iran.” It also includes the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah.

Despite a 75 percent decline in overall attacks in his area, there was an increase last month in the most lethal kind of roadside bombs — the explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) that officials say come from Iran, Farris said.

He said overall attacks are down because this year’s troop buildup has helped coalition forces drive al-Qaida militants and Shiite death squads out of Baghdad neighborhoods. Not so with the Shiite groups the U.S. says are getting weapons, training and funding from neighboring Iran, he said.

“I have not seen those attacks abate, and I have not seen any indication that they intend to stop,” Farris said.

In the last weeks, troops have captured two Iranian operatives and one of their bases was attacked with what Farris said were “lob bombs” fabricated from sophisticated technology from Iran.

Tehran has repeatedly denied U.S. allegations that it helps Iraqi extremists. But Iraqi authorities said in August that Iranian officials promised Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that they would stem the flow of weapons and ammunition smuggled to extremists in Iraq.

In the last few weeks, a half dozen U.S. officials and commanders have commented on the pledge — some saying it was still unclear whether Iran had followed through on it and others saying it appeared Iran was following through because there had been a drop in the number of roadside bombs found.

Farris was the first to say there has been no change in his area among the “special groups,” describing Iranian-backed militants.

“In my sector the assessment is we have not seen any slowing down or any indicators that these special groups are going to curtail their activities or quit receiving this support that’s coming from outside the country,” he said.

U.S. forces only operate in about 20 percent of the Sadr City enclave of some 2.5 million, purposely staying out of most of it to avoid a repeat of the bloody 2004 battle with fighters for radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Farris’s brigade arrived in Iraq in January, the first of the five brigades President Bush sent in an escalation to stem sectarian violence that had been spiraling out of control at this time last year.

He said now that violence is down, a small number of Iraqis have begun “trickling” back to neighborhoods they fled in his sector. Most others, he said, are reported waiting for the government to provide electricity and other essential services which have suffered because violence kept municipal workers away.

Latest news

Iran’s Economic Challenges in 2023: Inflation, Investment, and International Relations

As Iran enters the new Persian year, regime experts are raising concerns about the state of the country's economy....

What Gas Poisonings In Iran Tell Us About The Ruling Regime

For months schools in Iran have been in the crosshairs of gas attacks against the country’s children. The mullahs’...

Iran’s Regime Inches Toward Nuclear Weapons

Iran’s regime is once again at the center of a dangerous escalation of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A...

US Congress Expresses Support for Iranian People’s Quest for a Democratic, Secular Republic

Several bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives have presented a resolution (H. RES. 100) supporting the Iranian...

Wave Of Poisoning Attacks Against Schools Leave Hundreds Sick

Iran has been shaken for three months by serial poisoning attacks against all-girls schools, which has left more than...

Iranian Security Forces Beat Baluch Doctor To Death

On Thursday, February 23, activists in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces reported the news of the death of Dr. Ebrahim...

Must read

Iran official sees need for OPEC oil cut – agency

Reuters: Iran's OPEC governor said on Sunday that the...

Israel pressures China to back Tehran sanctions

Sunday Times: Israel will send its most senior military...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you