Iran joined militias in battle for Basra
IRANIAN forces were involved in the recent battle for Basra, General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, is expected to tell Congress this week.Anyone who seriously thinks the Iranians would take the side of the Iraqi nationalist Sadr forces against the pro-Iranian Badr Brigade and a government supported by the pro-Iranian Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq is either lying or incompetently delusional. The Iranians don't want al-Sadr in charge of Iraq anymore than the Americans do. I don't really think that the Iranians brokered a ceasefire but that both sides were called to Qom and told to stop. The Iranians already control Iraq through the ISC of Iraq and it's militia the Badr Brigade. So what is Petraeus up to here by attempting to blame the Iranians. Some think he's trying to make a case for Cheney to attack Iran. Here again I really thought he was smarter than that. An overt attack on Iran would result in all hell breaking lose in Iraq. If Petraeus has any grasp of reality he must know that. An attack on Iran is the one thing that might bring JAM and the Badr Brigade together. This should be a major line of questioning when Petraeus speaks to congress.
Military and intelligence sources believe Iranians were operating at a tactical command level with the Shi’ite militias fighting Iraqi security forces; some were directing operations on the ground, they think.
Petraeus intends to use the evidence of Iranian involvement to argue against any reductions in US forces.
Dr Daniel Goure, a defence analyst at the Lexington Institute in Virginia, said: “There is no question that Petraeus will be tough on Iran. It is one thing to withdraw troops when there is purely sectarian fighting but it is another thing if it leaves the Iranians to move in.”