24 Aug 2006

Iran Arming Insurgents in Iraq; British Hussars Sent to Interdict

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Agence France Presse quotes a US general at a Pentagon press conference telling us what we already know perfectly well.

A senior US military official said there is “clear evidence” that Iran is funding, training and arming Shiite extremists to destabilize Iraq.

“I think it is irrefutable that Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these Shia extremist groups, and also providing advanced IED technology,” said Brigadier General Michael Barbero, using the acronym for “improvised explosive devices.”

“And there is clear evidence of that,” he added at a Pentagon press conference.

His comments came the same day that Iran turned aside demands by the international community that it halt uranium enrichment as required by a UN Security Council resolution, offering “serious negotiations” instead.

We are unfortunately not characterizing Iran’s activities as the acts of war they are, and responding with invasion and regime change, but –at least– Coalition forces are evidently starting to do something serious about interrupting the flow of supplies.

The Telegraph reported today:

The soldiers of the Queen’s Royal Hussars will today board a fleet of stripped-down Land Rovers, festooned with weapons and equipment, bound for the depths of the Iraqi desert.

Their mission is to adopt tactics pioneered by the Long Range Desert Group, the forerunners of the SAS, more than six decades ago in the campaign against Rommel in North Africa. They will leave Camp Abu Naji, the only permanent base in Maysan province near the local capital of Amarah, and head into the remote region near the border with Iran.

Rather than staying in a fixed spot well known to enemy fighters in the most violent of all the Iraqi provinces under British control, they will live, camp and fight on the move. Roaming through the sparsely populated areas of Maysan, an area as large as Northern Ireland, they will travel without heavy armour that would become bogged down in the sand dunes and sleep under the stars.

Resupply will come from air drops or transport aircraft landing on temporary runways. Lt Col David Labouchere, the regiment’s commander, said that when they needed to act they would “surge” from the wilderness…

The adoption of tactics from an older era of British desert warfare would allow proper control of the border area for the first time, he said. America has frequently alleged that weapons and volunteers are being brought in by Iran. One of the first tasks of the Queen’s Royal Hussars will be to discover whether this is true.

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