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Iraq: ISF operation to cut off arms flow from Iran
Posted by: McQ on Monday, June 02, 2008

With the dearth of coverage concerning Iraq, a good place to go to find out what's up is "The Long War Journal". Today Bill Roggio brings us up to speed on what the ISF is doing to interdict Iranian arms flowing into Iraq (you know, the ISF of the Iraqi government, who, according to some, are in cahoots with Iran and merely puppets of the master regime):
The Iraqi Army has been expanding its operations along the Iranian supply routes in the South during the month of May. After clearing the Mahdi Army and other Iranian-backed militias from Basrah, operations have expanded into Az Zubayr and Al Qurnah.

Iraqi troops from the 1st Iraqi Army Division entered Az Zubayr on May 25. Az Zubayr, which is just southeast of Basrah, sits at the crossroads to Nasariyah, a tactical distribution hub for Iranian weapons. Mahdi Army Special groups would pass through Az Zubayr as they moved weapons from Iran to Basrah to Nasariyah. Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured a Special Groups financier and weapons smuggler in Az Zubayr on May 21.

An operation was conducted by Iraqi security forces in the city of Al Qurnah, which is about 50 miles north of Basrah, on May 13. Multinational Forces Iraq described the move into Al Qurnah as “a new phase of operation ” that “continues the process of targeting criminal elements by the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Security Forces as strongholds previously dominated by criminal militias fall.”

Al Qurnah is one of several strategic distribution hubs for Iranian-made weapons, such as rockets, mortars, and the deadly explosively formed projectile roadside bombs. Weapons flow across the border from Majnun in Iran to Al Qurnah. These weapons are warehoused in Qurnah and distributed to forward locations to conduct attacks against Iraqi security forces and Iraqi officials, and Coalition forces.
Roggio provides a nice little animated map which shows how these weapons enter the country and are distributed. The operations he describes above are designed to interdict these supply lines. Of course, that won't stop Iranian efforts to supply the militias it supports, but it will make it much more difficult.

And, they're having some success:
Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured a Special Groups operative behind rocket and mortar attacks along with another Mahdi Army fighter on May 31. The same day, US troops captured five Mahdi army fighters in separate actions in West Rashid, East Rashid, Mansour, and Adhamiyah. One of the men was behind EFP attacks, another was a weapons smuggler, facilitator and improvised explosive device maker, and another was responsible for conducting ethnic cleansing and weapons smuggling.
EFPs (Explosively Formed Penetrators), of course, are the deadly Iranian made versions of IEDs which can defeat just about any known armor. Removing them from the battlefield and cutting off their flow, of course, is one of the keys to reducing US casualties.

Anyway, since we're talking about Iraq in the post below, I thought I'd pass along the latest operation being conducted there. Obviously you're not going to read about it anywhere else.
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