Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is Iran And Hezbollah Behind Southern Iraq Blasts?

On May 10, 2010 three bombs went off in the southern province of Basra. All three were car bombs targeting markets in and around the city of Basra. The blasts left 30 people dead, and 126 wounded. 

The day after, the head of Basra’s provincial council's security committee said that intelligence pointed to foreign involvement in the explosions. He claimed that one Arab state and another were implicated in the attacks. On May 18, the Iraqi Interior Ministry told the press that Iran, working with an Iraqi group, was one of the countries behind bombings in southern Iraq. Sources in the Ministry said that Iranian explosives were used. If the other state was an Arab country, it was most likely Lebanon and Hezbollah. At the end of April, a U.S. military spokesman accused Iran of using Hezbollah to carry out attacks in Iraq.

Iran has a long history of supplying Shiite militants with weapons, and using Hezbollah for training and advising. Since the U.S. invasion, one of Tehran’s main goals has been to drive the U.S. out, and create sectarian divisions. Iranian backed Shiite groups have been known to attack their own people, hoping that the blame will be placed on Sunni groups like Al Qaeda in Iraq, and that will drive the population to look towards militias and Special Groups for protection.

Currently Iran is focusing upon Iraq’s elections, trying to shape the political situation, which is Tehran’s ultimate goal, but it still is providing low-level support to Shiite extremists. That’s why it would not be surprising if these claims were true, and Iranian backed Special Groups were behind the Basra bombings.

SOURCES

Alsumaria News, “U.S. Forces in Iraq Accuse Iran of Training Lebanese Hizbullah to Carry Out Attacks in Iraq,” MEMRI Blog, 4/29/10

Associated Press, “Toll for Iraq attack rises to 119,” 5/11/10

Aswat al-Iraq, “16 killed, 50 injured in Basra explosion,” 5/10/10
- “Arab states involved in Basra blasts – official,” 5/11/10

Issa, Sahar, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq Monday 10 May 2010,” 5/10/10

Al Sharqiya, “Security Sources in Iraq: Most Recent Bombings With Iranian-Made Weapons,” MEMRI Blog, 5/18/10

4 comments:

Iraqi Mojo said...

Very interesting and SAD. Until 2006 I never thought that Shia would kill Shia.

amagi said...

May 10 was a day of massively well coordinated attacks throughout Iraq, featuring more 'drive-by' style violence than is typical.

I was shocked that AQI could carry out so many simultaneous attacks despite recently losing their top leadership and a number of upper-management types in cascading raids that followed.

I am therefore altogether underwhelmed to discover that, in all probability, it wasn't AQI at all (or, rather, someone else was coordinating various disparate elements).

May all those who are in any way involved in perpetrating these attacks get what they have coming to them, regardless of their race, religion, nationality or what country they happen to be hiding out in the moment.

Anonymous said...

but why Basra and what does Iran gain? they've already got the Shia alliance, what's left? it's not like these sort of attacks are going to deter foregin investoers etc

Joel Wing said...

Anon there could be a couple reasons for the attack. This is just pure speculation on my part. 1st Shiite militants have attacked Shiites before hoping that it will drive the public into their arms for protection. The attack in Basra was initially blamed on Al Qaeda. 2nd southern Iraq is pretty secure these days so Iran may have supported some attacks to spread a little instability. It does want a weak and divided Iraq. 3rd it might have been a message to Dawa that runs the province. There might be more reasons.

Also the U.S. military released another press statement accusing Iran of trying to destabilize Iraq by supporting militants today.

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