August 09, 2007

State of War


From The New York Times: U.S. says Iran-supplied bomb is killing more troops in Iraq.

Attacks on U.S.-led forces using a lethal type of roadside bomb said to be supplied by Iran reached a new high in July, according to the U.S. military.

The devices, known as explosively formed penetrators, were used to carry out 99 attacks last month and accounted for a third of the combat deaths suffered by U.S.-led forces, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, said in an interview.

Such bombs, which fire a semi-molten copper slug that can penetrate the armor on a Humvee and are among the deadliest weapons used against U.S. forces, are used almost exclusively by Shiite militants. U.S. intelligence officials have presented evidence that the weapons come from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, although Iran has repeatedly denied providing lethal assistance to Iraqi groups.

In recent weeks, the U.S. military has focused on mounting operations in sanctuaries used by Al-Qaida in Iraq, a Sunni group that is predominantly made up of Iraqis but which has foreign leadership. But, as the information provided by Odierno shows, Shiite militias remain a major worry. ...

According to Odierno, who serves as the day-to-day commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, 73 percent of the attacks that killed or wounded U.S. troops in Baghdad in July were carried out by Shiite militants. ...

Of the 79 U.S. troops killed in July, the lowest toll in months, 23 died as a result of attacks with the devices, according to data supplied by Odierno's command.

"July was an all-time high," said Odierno, referring to strikes with such devices.

Penetrator attacks have been a worry for years. In 2005, the United States sent a private diplomatic protest to Tehran complaining that Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah had been training Iraqi Shiite insurgents in Iran and providing them with bomb-making equipment.

According to U.S. military data, penetrator attacks accounted for 18 percent of combat deaths of Americans and allied troops in Iraq in the last quarter of 2006.

From FOX News: Captured Video Shows Iraqi Insurgents Firing Sophisticated Iranian-Made Rockets at U.S. Positions.

Dramatic video produced by Iraqi insurgents and captured in a raid earlier this week by U.S. troops clearly shows a battery of sophisticated Iranian-made rocket launchers firing on American positions east of Baghdad, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

The video, captured during a raid on Monday by the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment in northeast Nahrawan, shows insurgents setting up and carrying out an attack on Sunday, as well as an attack on July 11 that killed one soldier and wounded 15 others, officials said. The raid last month appeared to involve 34 launchers firing 107 mm Iranian-made rockets.

Below is an updated list of stories about Iran's war with us, mainly in Iraq. The list includes the two stories above. Notice that the chronologically first story is almost two years old to the day, meaning we've know of Iran's involvement in Iraq at least that long.

U.S Troops Tracking Iranian Forces Aiding Shiite Militias in Iraq (FOX News, August 19, 2007)
Iran's Revolutionary Guards: We Will 'Punch' U.S. (FOX News, August 19, 2007)
Captured Video Shows Iraqi Insurgents Firing Sophisticated Iranian-Made Rockets at U.S. Positions (FOX News, August 8, 2007)
U.S. says Iran-supplied bomb is killing more troops in Iraq (New York Times, August 6, 2007)
U.S.: Iranian Training Responsible for 'Significant Improvement' in Iraqi Insurgents Aim With Mortars (FOX News, July 26, 2007)
U.S.: Smugglers nabbed in Iraq may have links to Iran (CNN, July 22, 2007)
Chinese missiles smuggled through Iran into Iraq: US (AFP, July 22, 2007)
Americans held in Iran on alleged security offenses shown on state TV (CNN, July 18, 2007)
Iran Is Found To Be a Lair of Al Qaeda (New York Sun, July 17, 2007)
Iraqi official says 200 explosive belts captured in truck crossing from Syria [an Iranian ally] (Ynet News, July 11, 2007)
US takes China to task over Iraq and Afghan arms [flowing via Iran] (Financial Times, July 9, 2007)
Officials: Captured Hezbollah agent helped plan deadly Karbala raid (CNN, July 1, 2007)
Iran supplied missile that hit UK helicopter (The Sunday Times, June 24, 2007)
Gates: Taliban getting weapons from Iran (The Boston Globe, June 13, 2007)
Iran arming Taliban, U.S. claims (CNN, June 13, 2007)
US troops attacked by Iranian military last year (The Jerusalem Post, March 25, 2007)
Iran's influence grows in Iraq, region (Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2007)
Iraqi extremists trained in Iran: US intelligence (AFP, February 28, 2007)
Military: more evidence of Iran-made explosives (Seattle Times, February 27, 2007)
U.S.: Large Cache of Weapons Discovered in Iraq Traceable to Iran (AP via FOX News, February 26, 2007)
Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran (The Telegraph, February 13, 2007)
Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack (CNN, January 31, 2007)
Donkeys harboring weapons stopped at Iran-Iraq border (Army Times, November 2, 2006)
Barbero: Iran training Shiite insurgents (AP via Army Times, August 24, 2006)
Casey cites Iran hand in attacks by Iraqi Shiites (The Washington Times, June 23, 2006)
Rumsfeld accuses Iran of troublemaking in Iraq (AP via Army Times, March 7, 2006)
EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? (ABC News, March 6, 2006)
Rumsfeld: Iraq bombs 'clearly from Iran' (CNN, August 10, 2005)

UPDATE -- Aug. 15: From The Washington Post: Iranian Unit to Be Labeled 'Terrorist'. (Tim Sumner)

The United States has decided to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country's 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a "specially designated global terrorist," according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group's business operations and finances.

The Bush administration has chosen to move against the Revolutionary Guard Corps because of what U.S. officials have described as its growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East, the sources said. The decision follows congressional pressure on the administration to toughen its stance against Tehran, as well as U.S. frustration with the ineffectiveness of U.N. resolutions against Iran's nuclear program, officials said.

The designation of the Revolutionary Guard will be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It authorizes the United States to identify individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said -- a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.

UPDATE -- Aug. 19 From FOX News: U.S Troops Tracking Iranian Forces Aiding Shiite Militias in Iraq.

Posted by Forkum at August 9, 2007 03:34 PM