The young and still maturing Iraqi military and intelligence agencies have “launched a military crackdown on smuggling gangs, al Qaeda militants and Shi’ite militias responsible for recent attacks U.S. forces.” June was the deadliest month in Iraq for American soldiers in the past two years, a grim precursor of things to come if America does not meet its year end withdrawal deadline. Moqtada al-Sadr is seen as quite serious in his threat to reengage his Mahdi army against American forces if a full withdrawal does not happen by the end of the year.
One of the most important goals of the military crackdown was to secure Iraq’s borders:
“We are implementing a tight security plan including all outlaw groups. Part of this plan is to control Iraq’s border perfectly,” Moussawi said.
“The entry of illegal arms to Iraq is contributing to undermining security, whether the weapons are used against U.S. or Iraqi troops, in assassination operations or armed robbery.”
“The goal of this operation basically is to prevent the infiltration of weapons which are used to attack U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces,” the official said.
The focus is, of course, Iran. The Persian nation has been actively smuggling weapons and bombs into Iraq. Most of this is done using Iranian special forces who deliver these weapons to Shi’a militias.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a Reuters interview last week, said Iran was “absolutely complicit” in the growing U.S. casualties in Iraq.
James Jeffrey, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Qods force special operations unit were supplying “significantly more lethal weapons systems” to some Iraqi militias.
“Of particular concern, at least to me, is the Sadrist movement. The AAH (Asaib al-Haq) and the Kata’ib Hizballah are basically nothing more than thuggish clones of their IRGC Qods force masters,” he told reporters in a briefing on Saturday.
Tensions over the Iranian nuclear (non)issue and now over Iraqi influence are coming to a boil. If aggressive behavior by both the Iranians and the Americans continue, an outright war between the two countries would not be all that surprising.
Update: I would like to apologize to readers of the blog for my error of fact and judgment. After reading some articles by Gareth Porter, I realized the magnitude of the fraudulent history of the United States government’s claims concerning Iranian arms smuggling into Iraq. As is such, I should not have put nearly as much faith in statements by Robert Gates without cold, hard proof.
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