20 Sep 2006

Chinese-Made Rocket Captured in Iraq

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The Iranians are supplying insurgents in Iraq with much more deadly ordinance, some of Chinese origin, General John Abizaid told reporters today.

The Turkish Press reports:

A new armor-busting rocket-propelled grenade believed to be of Iranian origin has shown up in Iraq in what may be “a hint about things to come,” the commander of US forces in the Middle East said Tuesday.

General John Abizaid said the weapon, an RPG-29, has a dual warhead and has proved effective against most types of armored vehicles.

“The first time we saw it was not in Iraq. We saw it in Lebanon. So to me it indicates, number one, an Iranian connection,” he told defense reporters here.

“It`s hard to say in our part of the world that we operate in as to whether or not people have given us a hint about things to come,” he said.

He said only a single RPG-29 has turned up in Iraq so far, and it was unclear how it was smuggled into the country.

But he said it was the latest in a number of new and more sophisticated weapons that appear to be moving onto the region`s battlefields from Iran.

He said longer-range Chinese rockets that looked new also have been found in Iraq.

Abizaid said he believed the Chinese rockets ca
me from Iran although they may have been taken from the arms inventories of the former Iraqi regime and cleaned up.

“It looked brand new to us,” he said.

The new weapons are in addition to more sophisticated roadside bombs with explosively shaped charges that the US military has long charged are being manufactured in Iran and brought into the country by Iran`s Revolutionary Guards-Quds Force.

Andre Pachter does not believe these are old inventory weapons:

Military experts tell China Confidential that Iran supplied the rockets and that they are in fact brand new, Chinese-made weapons.
Energy-starved China and oil-rich, Islamist Iran have deepening economic, political, and military ties. Beijing, as we have reported for months, is firmly committed to blocking meaningful sanctions against America’s arch-enemy. And Chinese arms have been instrumental in Iran’s military modernization.

Abizaid also said that a new, armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenade has turned up in Iraq. The weapon, which was first used in Lebanon by Iran’s Shiite proxy, Hezbollah, in its month-long war with Israel, has a dual warhead and has proved effective against most types of armored vehicles.

Citing links between Hezbollah and Shiite militias in Iraq, the US commander said the RPG could be “a hint of things to come.”

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