Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Iran, Stupid

Forget Israel. The US needs to take down Iran for its own security:

From this: Leaked Reports Detail Iran’s Aid for Iraqi Militias

On Dec. 22, 2006, American military officials in Baghdad issued a secret warning: The Shiite militia commander who had orchestrated the kidnapping of officials from Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education was now hatching plans to take American soldiers hostage.

What made the warning especially worrying were intelligence reports saying that the Iraqi militant, Azhar al-Dulaimi, had been trained by the Middle East’s masters of the dark arts of paramilitary operations: the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanese ally.

“Dulaymi reportedly obtained his training from Hizballah operatives near Qum, Iran, who were under the supervision of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) officers in July 2006,” the report noted, using alternative spellings of the principals involved.

...Scores of documents made public by WikiLeaks, which has disclosed classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, provide a ground-level look — at least as seen by American units in the field and the United States’ military intelligence — at the shadow war between the United States and Iraqi militias backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

...Iraqi militants went to Iran to be trained as snipers and in the use of explosives, the field reports assert, and Iran’s Quds Force collaborated with Iraqi extremists to encourage the assassination of Iraqi officials.

The reports make it clear that the lethal contest between Iranian-backed militias and American forces continued after President Obama sought to open a diplomatic dialogue with Iran’s leaders and reaffirmed the agreement between the United States and Iraq to withdraw American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

...According to the reports, Iran’s role has been political as well as military. A Nov. 27, 2005, report, issued before Iraq’s December 2005 parliamentary elections, cautioned that Iranian-backed militia members in the Iraqi government were gaining power and giving Iran influence over Iraqi politics.

“Iran is gaining control of Iraq at many levels of the Iraqi government,” the report warned.

...The reports suggest that Iranian-sponsored assassinations of Iraqi officials became a serious worry.

A case in point is a report that was issued on March 27, 2007. Iranian intelligence agents within the Badr Corps and Jaish al-Mahdi, two Shiite militias, “have recently been influencing attacks on ministry officials in Iraq,” the report said.
...A Shiite militant from the Jaish al-Mahdi militia, also known as the Mahdi Army, was planning to carry out a mortar attack on the Green Zone in Baghdad, using rockets and mortar shells shipped by the Quds Force, according to a report on Dec. 1, 2006. On Nov. 28, the report noted, the Mahdi Army commander, Ali al-Sa’idi, “met Iranian officials reported to be IRGC officers at the border to pick up three shipments of rockets.”

...An intelligence analysis of a Dec. 31, 2009, attack on the Green Zone using 107-millimeter rockets concluded that it was carried out by the Baghdad branch of Kataib Hezbollah, a militant Shiite group that American intelligence has long believed is supported by Iran. According to the December report, a technical expert from Kataib Hezbollah met before the attack with a “weapons facilitator” who “reportedly traveled to Iran, possibility to facilitate the attacks on 31 Dec.” Read the Document »

That same month, American Special Operations forces and a specially trained Iraqi police unit mounted a raid that snared an Iraqi militant near Basra who had been trained in Iran.

...According to the Dec. 22, 2006, report, a militia commander, Hasan Salim, devised a plan to capture American soldiers in Baghdad and hold them hostage in Sadr City to deter American raids there.

To carry out the plan, Mr. Salim turned to Mr. Dulaimi, a Sunni who converted to the Shiite branch of the faith while studying in the holy Shiite city of Najaf in 1995. Mr. Dulaimi, the report noted, was picked for the operation because he “allegedly trained in Iran on how to conduct precision, military style kidnappings.”

...At 7:10 p.m., several sport utility vehicles of the type typically used by the American-led coalition blocked the entrance to the headquarters compound. Twenty minutes later, an “unknown number of personnel, wearing American uniforms and carrying American weapons attacked the PJCC,” the report said.

The attackers managed to kidnap four American soldiers, dragging them into an S.U.V., which was pursued by police officers from an Iraqi SWAT unit. Calculating that they were trapped, the militants shot the handcuffed hostages and fled. Three of the American soldiers who had been abducted died at the scene. The fourth later died of his wounds, the report said, and a fifth American soldier was killed in the initial attack on the compound.

Summing up the episode, the American commander of a police training team noted in the report that that the adversary appeared to be particularly well trained. “PTT leader on ground stated insurgents were professionals and appeared to have a well planned operation,” the report said.

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1 comment:

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