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Iraq | International

US military launches offensive against "Iranian-backed" militia in Iraq
by wsws (reposted)
Thursday Aug 16th, 2007 7:57 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2007 :The US military announced on Monday it had begun a new offensive against alleged “Iranian-supported extremist elements” within Iraq’s Shiite population. Without bothering to square its latest claims with Washington’s “war on terror” propaganda, the Pentagon is asserting that rogue Shiite militias backed by Tehran are now a far greater danger to the occupation forces than Al Qaeda-linked Sunni radicals.
The operation has been planned with one date in mind—September 15. That is when American commander General David Petraeus is scheduled to address the White House and Congress on the progress of the troop “surge” that Bush ordered in January. The US military has already hinted that the report will highlight the emergence of Shiite militias as the most potent challenge to the US-led occupation, while noting military successes in Sunni areas against “Al Qaeda in Iraq”.

Last week, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, Petraeus’s second-in-command, claimed that Shiite militias were carrying out 73 percent of all attacks on American troops. Without providing any evidence, he subsequently asserted that Iranian-supplied roadside bombs were responsible for one-third of US deaths in Iraq during July. He also implied that Iranian-supplied rockets and mortars were giving Shiite insurgents the ability to target the Baghdad Green Zone headquarters of the occupation and US and British military bases with growing accuracy. An image purportedly showing Shiite insurgents firing Iranian-made 107mm rockets at an American base east of Baghdad on August 5 was provided to the media last week.

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