Five militants allegedly backed by Iran held in Iraq

October 3rd, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Oct 3 (Xinhua) US-led forces captured five members of one of the militant groups believed to be sponsored by Iran to fight Iraqi and coalition forces in the war-torn country, the US military said Friday. Based on intelligence reports, US troops conducted an operation in Baghdad’s eastern part of Rusafa Thursday and detained a senior leader of the Special Groups along with four of his aides, a military statement said.

“The suspected leader is believed to be involved in smuggling Iranian-supplied lethal aid into Iraq, and a key facilitator in planning and conducting attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces,” the statement said.

The US military said that the groups are receiving “funding, training, weapons and even direction from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Force (IRGC-QF)”.

The IRGC-QF attempts to destabilize the government of Iraq, through Iran’s “militia-proxies” inside Iraq, it added.

Washington has long accused Iran of fanning violence in Iraq by giving sophisticated bomb-making technology, money and training to militant Shia groups, some of which have links with Iraq’s Shia-led government.

However, Tehran denies the accusations and blames American soldiers for the violence and for inflaming tensions between Shias and once-dominant Sunni Arabs.

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