RealNews

Shia Group Link to Rocket Attack against US Troops

US forces in Iraq said on Thursday they had arrested members of an Iranian-backed militia group in connection with attacks on US troops, in a development that could further strain relations between Washington and Tehran. A military spokesman said 20 members of the Badr Corps militia had been detained on May 21 in connection with at least one rocket attack on US forces. It is the first time the US has publicly linked the Badr Corps and its mother organisation, the Supreme Council for the Islamic revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), to anti-American violence. Nine US soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the past 10 days, in attacks that have been blamed mostly on former members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party and members of the Sunni minority. SCIRI is based in Tehran and represents elements of the Shi’a majority, which forms 55 per cent of Iraq’s population; it was part of a committee of Iraqi opposition parties endorsed by Washington before the outbreak of war. But US officials suspect the organisation has been used to extend Iran’s influence in postwar Iraq. The group is led by Mohammed Baqir al Hakim, a Shi’a cleric. Full Story

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