Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Iranian special-ops unit flees Iraq to avoid capture


Fearing capture, a special-operations unit that reports directly to Iran's ruling mullahs has fled Iraq, U.S. defense officials say. Tehran's decision to recall the Qods Forces is being hailed inside the U.S. command in Baghdad because it rids Iraq, at least for now, of a particularly lethal group. Qods operatives, who might have numbered in the hundreds inside Iraq, armed and trained Shiite extremists who have killed American troops and Iraqis.

Qods is the covert section of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the enforcement arm of the Tehran regime. Qods is the only unit in the Corps that answers to the hard-line mullahs.
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, disclosed the Qods Forces' return to Iran in congressional testimony Monday, but did not elaborate.

Defense sources told The Examiner on Wednesday that Tehran recalled the Qods Forces out of concern that more Iranian operatives would be captured and disclose valuable information about how Iran is funding, training and arming Iraqi Shiites.

From Iranian detainees, for example, the Baghdad command has learned of bases inside Iran where Iraqi Shiites are trained how to ambush American troops.
"Iran plays a harmful role in Iraq," Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador in Iraq, told Congress this week. "While claiming to support Iraq in its transition, Iran has actively undermined it by providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state."
Crocker said Iranian officials have not acted in good faith during two meetings in Baghdad in which the U.S. pressed Iran to stop fomenting violence in Iraq.
"The impression I came away with after a couple of rounds is that the Iranians were interested simply in the appearance of discussions, of being seen to be at the table with the U.S. as an arbiter of Iraq's present and future, rather than actually doing serious business," Crocker said.
Petraeus testified that Iran is trying to create a Hezbollah-type group in Iran as it did in Lebanon in the 1980s. U.S. officials say Iran uses Lebanese Hezbollah as a proxy to attack Israel and disrupt democracy in Lebanon.
The Iranian-trained Iraqi extremists, Petraeus said, "have assassinated and kidnapped Iraqi governmental leaders, killed and wounded our soldiers with advanced explosives devices provided by Iran, and indiscriminately rocketed civilians in the international zone and elsewhere."
As for the Qods Force, he said, "we believe...those individuals have been pulled out of the country."

1 comment:

Azarmehr said...

IRI is not just after helping Shiite terrorists, IRI wants nothing short of chaos and destruction in Iraq. Why? because the last thing IRI wants is a stable prosperous democratic and happy Iraq which will be an example for Iranian people to follow. That is IRI's biggest fear.