Friday, July 23, 2010

US-Iranian combat looms in Iraq; preparing forces for attacks by three Shiite militias trained in Iran

Rising military tensions are reported in Iraq as pro-Iranian Shiite militias appear to be planning attacks on American forces, debkafile's exclusive sources report from Washington and Baghdad. Tehran is furious over Washington's decision to retain a number of US troops in Iraq, possibly as UN peacekeepers, after the pullout pledged by Obama to start on September 1

Administration officials are holding intense consultations with UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon for the US detachment staying on in Iraq to be reclassified as international peacekeepers. This means that not all the American troops due to withdraw in six weeks will in fact do so.

General Ray Odierno, commander of the US forces in Iraq, said the American army is busy reinforcing its bases and preparing its forces in anticipation of attacks by at least three Shiite militias recently trained in Iran to strike American targets in Iraq.