Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Iran: Entering the Fray in Iraq?

Two tales of Iran taking part in fighting against America in Iraq - first, DEBKA reports:

In the past two weeks, Iran has been pumping into Iraq two types of extra-lethal weapons in very large quantities. They have already taken their toll in the shooting down of two military helicopters - one American and one British – and an estimated 19 deaths of US military personnel.

DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources estimate the delivery to Iraqi insurgents as consisting of around 1,000 SA-7 Strela ground-air missiles made in Iran, and a very large quantity of a newly-developed roadside bomb, loaded with compressed gas instead of ball bearings and cartridges, to magnify their blast and explosive power.

In Iraq, the new weaponry has had three major effects:
1. The guerrilla-terrorist groups which received the shoulder-carried, highly mobile Strela missiles have scored three hits in fourteen days. On May 6, they fired a missile from one of Basra’s crowded alleys and downed a British military helicopter, killing all four military personnel aboard. Sunday, May 14, Iraqi insurgents shot down an American helicopter, killing its two crewmen over Yussifiya, inside the Triangle of Death south of Baghdad.

2. The number of roadside bomb attacks, their precision and lethality is going up all the time. Sunday, May 14, four US soldiers died in these blasts in the western Anbar province...In seven days, the British force stationed in southern Iraq lost seven men, a record for that space of time in the three-year war.
3. Together with the new Iranian weapons, a new array of Shiite terrorist groups has sprung up and is hitting American and British troops....

Apparently, not only is Iran arming America's enemies with ever more sophisticated weapons, but they are actually shelling America's Kurdish allies - from the Independent UK:

Shell craters and dead branches torn off the trees by explosions mark the places in the mountains of northern Iraq targeted by Iranian artillery firing across the border in a serious escalation of the confrontation between Iran and the US.
Frightened villagers, whose farms cling to the sides of the deep valleys below Kandil mountain, ran for their lives as Iran opened fire on Iraqi territory for the first time since the US invasion in 2003. Local officials said about 2,000 shells were fired in four hours.

It's time for us to show a little muscle against Iran; actually, a more forceful "warning" has been long overdue. These attacks against the Kurds, and the covert arming of the terrorists insurgents, will only get more brazen unless America shows it is unafraid of engaging Iran. At this point, there is no reason for Iran to fear the United States - we have allowed their nuclear program to proceed apace, taken no concrete steps against their support for terrorism worldwide, and have not responded to their provocations in Iran.

Perhaps we ought to escalate a bit - say, the nighttime sinking of a few of those vaunted Iranian navel vessels, a little daytime flight by US fighters over Iranian territory, or perhaps a stroll across the border by a few platoons of Marines. Might just give the Iranians some pause; you know, perhaps remind them that maybe they cannot believe all of their own propoganda...?

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