News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraq seeing rise in Iran-linked bomb blasts - US

Iraq seeing rise in Iran-linked bomb blasts – US

-

Reuters: The U.S. military in Iraq is seeing an upswing in the number of roadside bomb attacks using deadly armor-piercing munitions linked to Iran, top defense officials said on Friday. By David Morgan

WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. military in Iraq is seeing an upswing in the number of roadside bomb attacks using deadly armor-piercing munitions linked to Iran, top defense officials said on Friday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the number of attacks involving explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, in the first two weeks of January was about equal to EFP attacks during all of December.

“The number was fairly low in December but it’s about double so far in January,” Gates said during a return flight from a visit to a U.S. Navy installation near Charleston, South Carolina.

The U.S. defense chief provided no details about the attacks and initially described the weapons used as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. A senior Army officer later said his reference was specifically to attacks involving EFPs.

An IED is potentially less deadly than an EFP, which has the ability to penetrate heavy U.S. armor.

“During the first half of January, there were about as many (EFPs), I think, as there were in all of December. That’s my understanding,” Gates said.

Late last year, U.S. military officials in Iraq said the number of EFP attacks had fallen off but noted the improving quality of the munitions discovered with Iranian-trained Shi’ite militants in southern Iraq.

Washington accuses Tehran of arming, training and funding Shi’ite militias in Iraq through Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Iran denies the charges.

Some analysts have said there are signs that Iranian materiel support for Iraqi Shi’ite militias has diminished over the past several months.

But Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, said this week that Iran continues to train Iraqi “surrogates” and that Iranian-made weapons are regularly showing up in Shi’ite weapons caches.

“We certainly are still uncovering a lot of Iranian weapons here. What we don’t know is if they’re already here or they continue to send them in. We are still finding lots of EFPs,” he told Pentagon reporters via videolink from Iraq on Thursday.

Odierno said a split has recently appeared between Iran-backed militias and other Shi’ites who are beginning to cooperate with U.S. forces in Iraq.

“You have most of the Shi’a, who want to reconcile and who want to work with us. But we still have some, who mostly are supported by Iran, who still are trying to conduct attacks against coalition forces,” he said. (Editing by Xavier Briand)

Latest news

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

How Internet Censorship Is Damaging Iran’s Economy

While in the last four months, internet access in Iran has been cut off or severely limited, the regime’s...

Iran Regime’s Upcoming Budget Bill Will Lead To More Protests

On January 12, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi handed over the country’s budget bill to the parliament.  According...

Iran Is Facing a Severe Shortage of Natural Gas

With the start of winter and cold season, the National Iranian Gas Company declared, "we have entered a gas...

Must read

U.S. tells Iran nuclear deal offer won’t be changed

Reuters: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday...

Over 12,000 arrested in Iran capital: Tehran police chief

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Sep. 22 – More than...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you