Iran supplying Iraqi extremists, U.S. says

March 25, 2008 at 9:27 AM
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BAGHDAD, March 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. military says Iranian operatives provide money, weapons and training to Iraqi insurgents, despite Iranian promises the activity would end.

Analysis of recent attacks, including rockets fired on Baghdad's Green Zone during the weekend, confirmed they were carried out by Shiite extremists armed with weapons provided by Iran, Voice of America reported Tuesday.

Officials had said they could not be certain whether Iran's elite Quds Force stopped providing weaponry and training after Iranian leaders promised their Iraqi counterparts it would stop. However, Col. Steve Boylan, spokesman for the top U.S. general in Iraq, said intelligence gathered from prisoners and analysis of rocket fragments indicated the pledges have not been kept.

"We don't believe they are, based on the ordnance we've been seeing and the types of attacks that have been occurring," Boylan said.

His comments followed a statement by Army Gen. General David Petraeus, who told the BBC Sunday's rocket attack on the Green Zone offered evidence Iranian operatives still fund, train, equip and direct some of Iraq's insurgents.

Boylan said coalition forces were working to unravel insurgent networks.

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