Tuesday, 13 July 2010

US General: Iran-Backed Group Eyes US Bases in Iraq for Attack

13/07/2010 “Iranian-backed militants have received specialized training inside Iran to help mount an attack on American bases in Iraq,” the top US commander in Baghdad told reporters on Tuesday.

General Ray Odierno said security measures had been increased at US military facilities following intelligence reports that “Ketaib Hezbollah” was planning an attack.

"There has been some intelligence of Iranian surrogates attempting to attack US bases, which we are watching very carefully," said Odierno, who later named Ketaib Hezbollah as the group concerned.

"In the last couple of weeks there has been an increased threat of a potential Iran attack ... so we have increased our security in some of our bases. "This is another attempt by Iran and others to attempt to influence the US role here inside of Iraq," he said.

Odierno said specific intelligence had been received which showed the group planned to strike US bases, although it was not clear if the Tehran government was involved. "It's convoluted. It's always very convoluted," said the US general when asked if the Iranian leadership had played a role. "What we do know is the people getting ready to conduct this attack went back, got special training in Iran, they came back and we know that there were experts sent from Iran into Iraq to help them to do this in the last month or so."

Odierno said the threat would not disrupt an ongoing drawdown of US combat forces that will see American combat troops leave Iraq by September 1, after which a 50,000 training and advisory force will remain until December 2011.

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