News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran-linked attacks subside in Iraq

Iran-linked attacks subside in Iraq


ImageUSA TODAY: The number of deadly armor-piercing roadside bombs, which the U.S. government has linked to Iran, has dropped by nearly 70% in the past three months, the U.S. military says.


By Jim Michaels, USA TODAY

ImageWASHINGTON — The number of deadly armor-piercing roadside bombs, which the U.S. government has linked to Iran, has dropped by nearly 70% in the past three months, the U.S. military says.

The decline comes in the wake of Iraq-led offensives against Shiite militia strongholds.

Washington is also taking diplomatic steps to blunt the threat Iran poses to the region. A top U.S. diplomat will attend a meeting with Iranian officials this weekend to discuss Tehran's nuclear program, a rare high-level session between the two countries.

U.S. commanders are cautious in describing the decline in armor-piercing bombs in Iraq, saying there is no evidence Tehran is backing off support for Shiite militants there.

"There are a number of rockets and mortars that we know are of Iranian descent that we have taken off the battlefield," Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, said in an interview. "It's hard to determine whether that's been the principal cause of seeing fewer attacks or there's been some other cause."

The numbers include both attacks and bombs found before they are detonated. More than half are discovered before they explode.

The decline parallels a broad drop in violence that Austin attributes to success in securing the population, improving Iraqi forces and a shift in Iraqi public opinion toward U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Some experts say Tehran has been dealt a setback in Iraq, where the U.S. government says Iran has financed and armed Shiite militias. Iran denies doing so.

Recent military successes in Shiite militia strongholds have strengthened the legitimacy of Iraq's government and weakened militias that had been supported by Iran, analysts say. Iraq's military led the offensives, with back-up from American forces.

"The Iranians got kicked in the teeth in the past six months," said Kenneth Pollack, of the Brookings Institution.

Militias, such as the Mahdi Army, grew in prominence as they provided protection for Shiites during sectarian fighting in 2006 before the buildup of U.S. forces. At the time, Iraq's military was weak and viewed largely as a sectarian force.

Experts say the militias abused their power, losing popular support at the same time Iraq's military grew in strength and legitimacy.

A major test for Iraq's military was a spring offensive in Basra, where the people were "delighted to have the government troops there," Pollack said. "They were so desperate to get rid of" the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Despite the decreased activity in Iraq, most experts say Iran still wants to play a role there. "I think we should proceed from the assumption that their underlying motives haven't changed," said Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.

Latest news

Iran’s Regime Tries To Whitewash Its Crimes

Iran’s State Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization, which is under the supervision of the Judiciary, has distributed...

Iran: Raisi’s Six-Month Economic Record Contrasts Sharply With His 7,000-Page Program

In the summer of 2021, the Iran regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei installed the infamous Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi...

Iran’s Export in the Casino of the State Mafia

The Chairman of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Khansari, has stated that the total volume of exports of...

Will Iraq Get Ever Free of Iran’s Sway?

After many years and massive popular protests, there are indications that Iraq’s body politic has decided to separate its...

Tehran Downplays Real Statistics of Car Accident Fatalities

The number of road accidents and fatalities in Iran has significantly increased during recent weeks. However, this is not...

The JCPOA and the Capitulation of Iran

Iran’s government is trying to depict a strong position in its international relations and actions, especially during the nuclear...

Must read

Iranian envoy sees possible breakthrough on nuclear deal

Bloomberg: Iran for the first time sees the “possibility...

Brown denounces Iran’s ‘inhumanity’

Press Association: Gordon Brown has denounced Iran's treatment of...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you