Petraeus: “no question” that Iranian arms were ending up in the hands of the Iraqi militias
Iran has funded, trained, & armed the terrorist insurgents in Iraq, they have also been implicated in assassinations of governors in southern provinces. It is pretty clear that Iran and Iranian supported terrorists are among our enemies in Iraq. Question is though what can we do about it? Launching a new military campaign against Iran is likely not in the cards, but allowing Iran to continue its current behavior unchecked is also a mistake.
Although America’s top general in Iraq called al Qaeda “the wolf closest to the sled,” he said sectarian fighting among militias fueled by Iran could be the biggest long-term challenge for Iraq.
“Militias could potentially be the long-term problem for Iraq, if you assume that we can continue to make progress against al Qaeda,” Gen. David Petraeus told CNN’s Jim Clancy near the Iranian border in Iraq’s Diyala province.
Petraeus is in a “show-me mode,” waiting to see if Iran honors a pledge to stop the flow of arms, money and training from Iran into Iraq that has helped both Shiite and Sunni militants.
“Al Qaeda remains the wolf closest to the sled, if you will,” he said. “The enemy that is always bent on reigniting sectarian violence, causing the most horrific casualties, damaging the infrastructure in the most difficult way. So you cannot lose focus on al Qaeda.”
But, Petraeus added, there was “no question” that Iranian arms were ending up in the hands of the Iraqi militias and there was “no debate” that six Iranians detained by the U.S. military in northern Iraq are Iranian Quds force members — the Iranian unit the United States accuses of training and arming insurgents.
“There’s no question, absolutely no question that Iran is providing advanced RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], RPG 29s,” Petraeus said.
“It has provided some shoulder-fired, Stinger-like air-defense missiles. It has provided the explosively formed projectiles and it has provided 244 mm rockets, in addition to mortars, mortar rounds and other small-arms ammunition.”
Others Blogging: Amy Proctor