U.S. General: Iran-Backed Groups Biggest Iraq Threat

(AP) Lolita C. Baldor - Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said the Shiite militias are working to keep the Baghdad government weak and isolated. Decisions on the number of types of attacks launched by the three main militia groups, he said, are made inside Iran, including through their ties with the powerful Quds force. "The Quds force is providing direct support (to the militias) in terms of manning, equipping, provision of intelligence," Buchanan said. While al-Qaeda in Iraq may be responsible for the recent wave of violence, the group is not as big a threat to the stability of the state as the Shiite militias. He said there are 800-1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq - far fewer than they used to have. The three militia groups total more than that, with several thousand in the Promised Day Brigade, the militia group linked to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army. Kataib Hezbolla is much smaller with hundreds of members. And the third group, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or Band of the People of Righteousness, is somewhere in the middle.

2011-08-18 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive