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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Feb 25th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Iran agents leading militias captured in Baghdad
Iran agents leading militias captured in Baghdad PDF Print E-mail
Written by World Tribune   
Monday, 28 July 2008


BAGHDAD — The U.S. military has reported the capture of key commanders of an Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia in Iraq.

The military said two commanders of the Iranian-sponsored Special Groups were arrested in Baghdad on July 27. The two were identified as Iranian agents trained by Teheran to conduct attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces around the city.
Many commanders of the Special Groups and Mahdi Army have fled to Iran amid the U.S.-led offensive against Shi'ite militias, Middle East Newsline reported. One of the captured Special Groups chiefs was tracked to Baghdad's Rusafa district, where he was arrested without incident.

The second Special Groups commander was said to lead a cell in Baghdad's Karkh district. Officials said the unidentified operative was responsible for supplying weapons and funding to Shi'ite militia cells.

"Based on information gleaned from Special Groups suspects already in custody, he is a senior leader responsible for supplying weapons, money and logistical support to subordinate Special Groups commanders," the military official said. "He also provides fighters as reinforcements to areas in need — making his role crucial for sustained operations by Special Groups in Karkh."

Officials said the operation capped weeks of a search effort for key members of the Special Groups, a splinter of the Mahdi Army. They said one of the commanders was tracked to Baghdad's Sadr City, identified as the headquarters for the Mahdi Army and Special Groups.

"According to information provided by suspected Special Groups criminals already in custody, the reported agent of Iran is responsible for attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces as well as kidnappings and smuggling of weapons from Iran to Iraq," the military said.

Officials said Special Groups was responsible for the smuggling of explosively-formed penetrators from Iran in 2007. The militia was also said to have introduced the Improvised Rocket-Assisted Munitions, or IRAM, a 107 mm rocket filled with explosives and fired in salvos by remote control from a truck.

Officials said that over the last three months, Iraqi and U.S. forces eroded the capabilities of Iranian-backed militias in the Baghdad area. They said many Shi'ites, fed up with the extortion employed by the militias, provided the government of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki with information on the identities and whereabouts of Mahdi Army and Special Groups operatives.

In Rusafa, Shi'ites have directed U.S. and Iraqi forces to Iranian weapons caches comprised of rocket-propelled grenades, 107 mm rockets, EFPs and munitions. The Iraq Army's 1st Division, 4th Brigade, 3rd Battalion has been responsible for the area.

"This shows that the people of Rusafa can trust us to secure and protect their city," Iraqi Lt. Col. Mohammed Karsol, commander of 3rd Battalion, said.



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