Rogue Shiite militia fighters said to be armed and trained by Iran were responsible for nearly three-quarters of attacks that killed or wounded Americans in Baghdad last month, the No. 2 US commander in Iraq said Sunday.
Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said factions that have broken away from radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army were believed responsible for most of the attacks. He said military successes against al-Qaida had left a void that was being filled by the rogue militiamen. He also blamed Iran for stepping up support for the Shiite fighters in an attempt to influence opinions in Washington ahead of a pivotal progress report on Iraq next month.
"We knew this was coming, but there's been a shift," Odierno told The Associated Press in an interview.