United States accused Iran Thursday of being a major destabilizing force
in Iraq, accusing Tehran of training and arming insurgent groups
and using "surrogates" to carry out terrorist strikes.
"It's decidedy unhelpful," the top US commander
in Iraq, General George Casey, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference
with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
However . . .
Casey said that he had NO EVIDENCE of Iranians actually in Iraq directing
attacks against Iraqis or US forces, but said that he assumed
elements in Tehran were guiding the process.
I wonder why he assumes it's Iran?
"We are quite confident that the Iranians . . . are providing
weapons, IED technology and training to Shi'a extremist groups in
Iraq" [he said].
"They are using surrogates to conduct terrorist operations in Iraq both
against us and against the Iraqi people," he said.
Improvised Explosive Devices like road-side bombs are among the most commonly
used methods to attack US forces in Iraq.
Isn't it possible that some OTHER nation might be secretly arming
So, if they're arming Kurds, who's to say they're not arming others in
is one of the world's leading weapons exporters. Deals must be cleared
through the Defense Ministry, but in past years there have been a number of
cases of ex-army officers negotiating deals on their own, or taking on military
training missions in foreign countries without approval.
In December, an investigative report by another daily, Yediot Ahronot, alleged
that a number of private Israeli companies won contracts to provide
security services to the Kurdish government in Iraq. The report said
Israelis who had served in elite military combat units were teaching
anti-terrorism methods to the Kurds.
At the time the Defense Ministry said, "we haven't allowed Israelis
to work in Iraq, and each activity, if performed, was a private initiative,
without our authorization, and is under the responsibility of the employers
and the employees involved."
* * *
The Haaretz daily said Thursday that an Israeli businessman living
in the United States and a Swiss firm operating in Israel, are suspected of
selling security equipment and training courses to Kurds in northern Iraq.
Reaction was not immediately available from the Kurdish government.
To those who blame me for unfairly scrutinizing Israeli conduct - explain this
Israeli firms probed for illegal dealings in Iraq:
Several Israeli firms involved in defense exports are being investigated by
the police on suspicion of illegal dealing in Iraq, local newspaper Ha'aretz
reported on Thursday.
At the focus of the investigation are Shlomi Michaels, and Kodo, a firm registered
in Switzerland but operating in Israel.
According to Ha'aretz, the two firms are suspected of selling equipment, know-how
and technology, as well as providing security advisers from Israel to groups
and companies of Kurds operating in northern Iraq. One of the main operations
there was setting up of a security apparatus for the Irbil airport.
It was reported that suspicions about the role of Tadiran, Motorola, Magal
and other firms believed to have been involved in providing equipment through
intermediaries to Kodo and Michaels are also being investigated, though no company
officials have yet been called by the police for interviews.
Citing police sources, the report said that the matter was being investigated,
but at this time there was no further information for release.
Since 2004, Israeli firms operating in northern Iraq, including Michaels and
Kodo, have been ordered to cease their activities because of threats of terrorism.
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training Kurds in northern Iraq - report
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