|Captured Iranian made rockets|
On July 12 an Iranian trained militia attempted to fire 41 Iranian-made rockets at a U.S. military post in eastern Iraq. Seventeen of the 107 mm rockets were confiscated by U.S. and Iraqi forces before they could be launched, but the rest missed the U.S. base known as COS Garry Owen and instead hit the base for the Iraqi 10th Army division, killing several Iraqi women and children.
In response an angry Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki issued a communiqué warning his Iranian counterparts that should such destabilizing operations continue he would be forced to ask U.S. forces to remain in Iraq past December 31, the current deadline for all U.S. forces to leave. Since then, the number of Iranian proxy attacks by Asaib ahl al-Haq (AAH), or the League of the Righteous, against U.S. forces has dropped significantly.
The reduced attacks only mean that Iran’s short term strategy is now to wait for U.S. troops to leave at the end of the year before trying to reassert itself through the militias which have been trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Until the misfire in July the Iranian strategy was to step up the number of attacks on U.S. forces in order to make it look as though U.S. troops were being forced to leave the region. The Revolutionary Guard has now asked the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia to stand down while Maliki completes negotiations with the U.S. ambassador and State Department, determining how many, if any, U.S. troops will stay past December.
The 107 mm rockets fired at the U.S. base had writing on them that linked them to Iran and color bands on the munitions that also link them to Iraq’s next door neighbor, according to classified weapons manuals shared by Iraqi and U.S. forces.
AAH, the group that fired the rockets, is led by the notorious. Shiite cleric Qais Khazali founded the group in 2006 after splitting from Muqtada al Sadr at the height of the Iraq civil war. Khazali led a raid on U.S. forces in January 2007 in Karbala using American vehicles, uniforms and identification cards that left 5 U.S. soldiers dead. He and his brother and a Lebanese Hezbollah operative were captured by U.S. troops two months later.
AAH then carried out a coordinated attack on Iraq’s Finance ministry, kidnapping a British consultant. Khazali was released by U.S. forces in 2009 as part of a prisoner swap and attempt by the Maliki government to bring the Shiite militia into the political process.
In a demonstration of the level of Iranian involvement Khazali was photographed at a conference sponsored by the Iranian government in Iran celebrating the “Islamic Awakening,” Iran’s answer to the Arab Spring. He sat 4 rows behind President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, raising eyebrows among U.S. military officials who have faced dozens of attacks by his Shiite Iraqi militia since his release in 2009.
In June of this year, 9 U.S. soldiers were killed as a result of Iranian rockets. U.S. troops were attacked 6 times this year by militias firing Iranian rockets, twice as many times as the year before. Admiral Mike Mullen before retiring as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs last week warned, “If they [Iran] keep killing our troops that will not be something that we will sit idly by and watch.” Now it seems that Iran’s leadership has made a new calculation that it may be more beneficial to slow the attacks until the government of Iraq finalizes its request for how many U.S. troops it will ask to remain.
From my point of view it baffles me why the Obama Administration does not act decisively to confront Iran for it’s military support of forces attacking US troops and citizens in Iraq and in Afghanistan, where numerous Iranian made weapons caches have been captured from the Taliban.
Our nation is now over 200 years old and over the course of time the Federal Government, State Governments and local communities have passed thousands of laws. Many of those laws were just plain dumb when they were written. Many more became obsolete, out dated and stupid as time passed. Unfortunately, many of those laws, though not enforced, still remain on the books. I have decided to put some of those in my little blog just to share a good laugh, o a good cry –or even an occasional scream- with you. Here is today’s entry or entries:
In Nogales, Arizona, it is illegal to wear suspenders.
In Arkansas teachers who bob their hair may forfeit their pay raises
Men and women in Little Rock Arkansas who flirt with each other in public may face a thirty day jail sentence.
Live Long and Prosper....