Coalition special operations forces captured a suspected Iranian “agent” and an associate during an early morning raids north of Baghdad, Multinational Forces Iraq reported.
The Iranian is described as a “commander of Iranian special operations in Iraq who is also believed to be involved in facilitating training of Iraqi militants at Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force training camps.”
The raids took place in the town of Qastin in Diyala province. The Iranian agent then led US forces to his associate.
US and Iraqi forces have captured several high-level Qods Force officers inside Iraq since late 2006. Among those captured are Mahmud Farhadi, one of the three Iranian regional commanders in the Ramazan Corps; Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative; Qais Qazali, the leader of the Qazali Network; and Azhar al Dulaimi, one of Qazali’s senior tactical commanders. The US has imposed sanctions on Major General Ahmad Foruzandeh, the former Qods Force commander, and Abdul Reza Shahlai, a deputy commander in Iran’s Qods Force, for backing Shia terror groups inside Iraq.
Iraqi and US forces have killed one Qods Force operative and captured 11 since mid-October.
Qods Force has supported various Shia militias and terror groups inside Iraq, including the Mahdi Army, helping to build the groups along the same lines as Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran denies the charges, but captive Shia terrorists admit to being recruited by Iranian agents and then transported into Iran for training.
Iran established the Ramazan Corps immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime to direct operations inside Iraq. The US military says Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have helped establish, fund, train, and arm, and have provided operational support for Shia terror groups such as the Hezbollah Brigades and the League of the Righteous. The US military refers to these groups as well as the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the “Special Groups.” These groups train in camps inside Iran.
US and Iraqi forces have detained 11 Hezbollah Brigades operatives in and around Baghdad since December 1.
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