« | »

Iraq Attacks (Anti-Iranian) MEK Camp

From a memory deficient Washington Post:

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (C) visits troops from the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division’s Advise and Assist Mission upon his arrival at COB Adder in Tallil, Iraq.

Iraq Raids Camp of Exiles From Iran

Move Seen as Sign Tehran Is Eclipsing American Influence

By Ernesto Londoño and Greg Jaffe
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BAGHDAD, July 28 — Iraqi troops and police carried out a bloody raid Tuesday on the camp of an Iranian opposition group that the United States has long sheltered, marking the Iraqi government’s boldest move since it declared its sovereignty a month ago and offering the latest sign that American influence is waning as Iranian clout rises.

The operation, which caught U.S. officials off guard, coincided with a visit by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, and analysts said it appeared designed to send a message of Iraqi independence.

The Mujaheddin-e Khalq, or MEK, has supplied information about Iran’s nuclear program to the United States, but the group has long been an irritant to the Islamic republic, which has repeatedly asked the government of neighboring Iraq to expel MEK members. The way Baghdad deals with the group is widely seen as a signal of whether Iraq is more heavily swayed by Iran or by the United States.

Leaders of the group said Iraqi troops fatally shot four residents Tuesday night and wounded scores. U.S. officials have long opposed a violent takeover of the camp northeast of Baghdad, and the Iraqi government’s willingness to carry out the raid while Gates was in the country startled some American officials.

Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said American officials did not oppose an assault on the camp as long as troops treated residents humanely. He said initial reports from Iraqi commanders indicated that their troops had not used lethal force and that no one had been killed.

"We didn’t know they were going to do this," Odierno said Tuesday night. "We had no prior warning."

Residents of Camp Ashraf, home to more than 3,000 people, said in phone interviews that hundreds of Iraqi troops and police officers gathered outside the camp in the afternoon. Driving armored Humvees donated by the U.S. military, Iraqi troops in riot gear barreled through one of the camp’s gates and clashed with people forming a human shield, according to residents.

The troops used batons, fire hoses, pepper spray, sound grenades and riot shields to plow through the hundreds-strong crowd, residents said. Group leaders said that at least 300 people were wounded in the clashes.

"They sprayed the residents with hot water and beat them with batons," resident Safa Mohammed said in a phone interview. "They beat them with rocks. We tried to push them back, but, as you know, we don’t have any weapons." …

During the war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, MEK members were given refuge in Hussein’s Iraq, and they are widely suspected to have participated in violent crackdowns against Kurdish and Shiite uprisings

In case there was still any doubt about how Iran will soon be calling the shots in Iraq.

Still, it is hard to believe that our officials are feigning surprise.

Remember how at the start of the Iraq invasion, back in March of 2003, the question on everyone’s mind was would we stay and protect the sects who would be out of power with the overthrow of Saddam?

We did not protect those who rose up against Saddam during the Gulf War, and they paid a heavy price.

But we assured the world we would not make the same mistake again. And yet, here it is happening again – and US troops haven’t even completely decamped.

As we have previously noted, the Obama administration has recently announced that it is going to allow over 1,500 ‘persecuted’ Palestinians living in Iraq, who also had worked with Saddam, to re-locate to the United States.

The MEK are undoubtedly going to be next in line.

So maybe this will be Mr. Obama’s solution. Just move all of the millions of unpopular sects to the good ole US of A.

What could go wrong?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Iraq Attacks (Anti-Iranian) MEK Camp”

  1. GL0120 says:

    Attacks against Iranians? More suicide bombings?
    What gives here, I thought all would be peaches and cream once Bush was gone?

  2. crosspatch says:

    Elections are in January. There is a lot of pushing and shoving behind the scenes. Sistani wants a “change of faces” at the highest levels meaning he wants to see Maliki step aside and someone else lead the party. Maliki is trying to win another term and consolidate his power. But the religious parties are in trouble and took a serious drubbing in the provincial elections. Things are going to get very interesting between now and January in Iraq and how various parties react to losing elections is going to show how successful Iraq’s democracy is.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    Maybe Barry can run for “SHAH OF IRAQ”.
    He’s been on the campaign trail since hitting the D.C area …. I mean…….he’s a shoe in!!
    (They beat the people they hate with shoes, right?)

    It’s a thought!!

« Front Page | To Top
« | »