Thursday, February 28, 2008

Iranian Proxy Acts of War

Iran's proxy war in Iraq is now aimed at ending the Awakening movements that threaten the theocracy's efforts to expand its influence in Iraq.


Iran, long term, poses the most significant threat to Iraq. Its training and funding of proxies in Iraq is beyond dispute. Last week, the Governor of Basra, accused Iran of being behind plans to assassinate he and his brother. According to a recent report, Iran is conducting a surge of its own, significantly increasing its Qods Force infiltration into Iraq. According to "Baghdad's chief intelligence officer said Iran is working to destroy the Awakening movements" that have been so important to the gains in stability. This from the Long War Journal:

. . . The latest charge leveled against Iran is that Qods Force, the special operations branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, is working to destroy the Awakening movements that oppose al Qaeda and Shia terrorist groups. Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani, the director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, accused Iran of sabotaging the Awakening, or Sahwa, movements. The Awakening movement and associated Sons of Iraq (formerly the Concerned Local Citizens) movements have been instrumental in securing vast regions of Iraq during the past year.

"We have information confirming that Iranian secret services have sent agents to sabotage the Sahwa experience in Iraq," Shahwani said in a press release issued today. Shahwani is a Kurd who served as a brigadier general in a Republican Guard unit under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Shahwani later organized efforts to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

. . . The US has . . . linked Hezbollah to the formation of the Special Groups after the capture of a senior Hezbollah/Qods Force officer in Iraq in early 2007.

Both the Mahdi Army and the offshoot Special Groups cells have clashed with Shia members of the Awakening and Sons of Iraq movements. Special Groups cells have attack Awakening and Sons of Iraq checkpoints and murder and kidnapped members. The Mahdi Army has waged an aggressive campaign to prevent the formation of Awakening movements.

While Iraqi intelligence pointed the finger at Iran for attacking the Awakening and Sons of Iraq movements, US and Iraqi forces continue to target the Special Groups cells. Since Sadr declared the cease-fire on Feb. 22, there have been 11 raids against the Special Groups cells.

The most significant raid netted a yet-to-be-named senior Special Groups commander. Coalition forces captured a senior regional Special Groups finance facilitator and six associates during a raid in Suwayrah on Feb. 25. "The targeted individual was reportedly a finance leader for Iranian-affiliated Special Groups criminals and militias in Iraq’s southern provinces to include Najaf, Karbala, Babil, Wasit and Qadisiyah," Multinational Forces Iraq noted in a press release.

The Special Groups financier also doubled as "a mortar and rocket specialist who had trained in Iran." He served as a weapons trainer who conducted attacks with the deadly, armor-piercing explosively formed penetrator mines against Coalition and Iraqi troops.

Multinational Forces Iraq began targeting Special Groups weapons trainers during the fall of 2007 after knowledge of the Shia terror cells expanded. "Iran has adopted a 'train the trainer' model to facilitate attacks in Iraq," a senior US military officer serving in Iraq told who wishes to remain anonymous told The Long War Journal. Weapons trainers are instructed by the Iranian military, and then sent into Iraq to conduct attacks and disseminate knowledge to their cells. . . .

Read the entire article. It is clear that the U.S. and Iraq's government are attempting to contain Iran's deadly meddling without resort to direct attacks on training and command facilities on Iranian soil. At this point, I question whether such a policy is not counterproductive, encouraging Iran to further acts of aggression? Iran's theocracy has been at war with the U.S. since its inception, and indeed, as Sec of Def Gates said recently, "everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos, no matter the strategic value or cost in the blood of innocents - Christians, Jews and Muslims alike." Iran will not stop their aggression until they are forcibly stopped.

Update: Neoneocon has a very good post comparing and contrasting Obama's sound tough carry a stack of olive branchs approach with McCain's clear big stick approach.

1 comment:

MK said...

I've long been of the opinion that we needed to start sending IEDs and bombs back at Iran about 2 years ago. Talking and waffling to those bastards hasn't worked for 3 decades, the only language they understand well is force and things blowing up in their faces.