Tens of thousands of classified US military documents, which were made public by WikiLeaks on Friday, shed light on the strong ties between the armed militias in Iraq and the Iranian regime, news agencies reported.
According to the documents, the Iraqi militants, who were backed by Iran's Revolutionary Guards and trained by Hezbollah, used Iranian weapons to carry out suicide attacks and target US troops.
Media outlets that gained access to some 400,000 classified documents reported that they shed light on Iran's secret war in Iraq. The New York Times said the reports recount Iran's role in providing Iraqi militia fighters with rockets, magnetic bombs that can be attached to cars, "explosively formed penetrators," or EFPs, which are the most lethal type of roadside bomb in Iraq, and other weapons. Those include .50-caliber rifles and the Misagh-1, an Iranian replica of a Chinese surface-to-air missile, which, the reports say, was fired at American helicopters and downed one in Baghdad in July 2007.
The American daily said the reports assert that Iraqi militants went to Iran to be trained as snipers and in the use of explosives by the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah operatives.
'Iran looking to weaken government in Iraq'
The reports indicated that the training of Iraqi militants was also conducted in Iraq itself.
According to the New York Times, American military officials based in Baghdad had issued a secret warning in December 2006 that a Shiite militia commander was hatching plans to take American soldiers hostage after undergoing training by Middle East masters.
They claimed that Iraqi militant Azhar al-Dulaimi was trained in dark arts of paramilitary operations near Qum, Iran.
Five months later, Dulaimi was tracked down and killed in an American raid in the sprawling Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad - but not before four American soldiers had been abducted from an Iraqi headquarters in Karbala and executed in an operation that American military officials say literally bore his fingerprints.
The secret US field reports from the battlegrounds of Iraq also indicate that Iran encouraged Iraqi militants to carry out as many suicide attacks as possible and that Tehran was behind the murder of senior Iraqi government officials by Iraqi militants.
According to the secret reports, Iran is looking to weaken the current US-backed government in Iraq and reduce America's influence in the country.
The US reports say Iran’s role has been political as well as military. A Nov. 27, 2005, report, issued before Iraq’s December 2005 parliamentary elections, cautioned that Iranian-backed militia members in the Iraqi government were gaining power and giving Iran influence over Iraqi politics, the New York Times reported.
“Iran is gaining control of Iraq at many levels of the Iraqi government,” the report warned.
|Trained militants. Iran's Revolutionary Guards|