On July 13, 2010 the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq General Ray Odierno warned about a short-term threat to American forces as they withdraw from Iranian backed Special Groups. He said that Iran and the Shiite militants had always claimed that they were the reason why the Americans were going to leave Iraq, and they wanted to drive that point home by attacking U.S. troops this summer. It appears that those strikes have begun.
There have been a number of attacks in southern Iraq and Baghdad that are the likely work of Special Groups. The first was an explosively formed projectile (EFP) attack on American security contractors in Basra on July 15 that left no injuries. Two days later rockets hit the Green Zone in Baghdad, again with no casualties. On July 19 an improvised explosive device went off in Basra. On July 21 four missiles hit a U.S. base in Kut, Wasit province. The 23rd saw 3 U.S. soldiers wounded in another rocket attack upon a U.S. base in Nasiriyah, the provincial capitol of Dhi Qar. The camp is the center of U.S. operations for southern Iraq. On the 24th more rockets hit Camp Echo in Diwaniya, Qadiisyah governorate. That same day three men were arrested for the Kut attack. Finally, on July 27 three rockets were fired at Basra International Airport where the U.S. has a base.
These attacks have been very small, the casualties low, and the damage minimal. Basically, they are symbolic to let the United States know that Iran and their Special Groups are still around, while the Americans leave. As General Odierno noted, these operations do not represent a threat to the Iraqi government, and are likely only to happen for a short-period as Iran is more concerned about its political influence in Baghdad than the dwindling American presence.
Aswat al-Iraq, “3 U.S. soldiers wounded in rocket attack on Nasseriya base,” 7/23/10
- “3 wanted men captured for firing rockets on U.S. base in Kut,” 7/24/10
- “4 rockets hit Delta Base in Wassit,” 7/21/10
- “U.S. camp in Diwaniya comes under rocket attack,” 7/24/10
Olive Group, “Weekly Security Update,” Iraq Business News, 7/22/10
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