Attacks Surge in Green Zone: US Blames Iran

Escalating Rocket and Mortar Attacks

Though the attacks haven’t been causing a large number of casualties, US officials are expressing serious concerns over the dramatic increase in the number of mortar and rocket attacks targeting Baghdad’s Green Zone in recent months.

Brigadier Gen. Ralph O. Baker, the top US commander in Baghdad, cautioned that the attacks, which have largely originated in Shi’ite neighborhoods in the city, seem to have political components and blamed the Promised Day Brigade, a Shi’ite militia seen closely allied with Moqtada al-Sadr, the de facto leader of the Iraqi National Alliance.

Brig. Gen. Baker insisted the attacks seem aimed at discrediting current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and suggested that Iran was likely behind the significant escalation.

Which is a somewhat curious combination of claims, as the Iranian government has made it clear that they, like the US, prefer Maliki as the prime minister of Iraq. Though the two don’t have identical¬† ideas – the US seems to be pushing for a Maliki-Allawi alliance while Iran prefers a Maliki-Sadr alliance, their political interests in Iraq seem to have run in concert for years.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.