Iran media celebrates 'increased attacks' on US in Iraq

The US has said that either the attacks are ordered by Iran or use Iranian weapons, according to Iranian media.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth P. Ekman, Deputy Commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, shakes hand with Brigadier General Salah Abdullah during a handover ceremony of Taji military base from US-led coalition troops to Iraqi security forces, in the base north of Baghdad, Iraq August 23 (photo credit: REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI)
Maj. Gen. Kenneth P. Ekman, Deputy Commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, shakes hand with Brigadier General Salah Abdullah during a handover ceremony of Taji military base from US-led coalition troops to Iraqi security forces, in the base north of Baghdad, Iraq August 23
(photo credit: REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI)
On September 10, a Katyusha rocket reportedly was fired at a US facility in Baghdad’s airport. On September 8, an explosive device targeted a convoy that supplies US soldiers in Iraq, according to local Iraqi authorities.
On September 7, another attack targeted Camp Taji, a base that US forces recently left. On September 6, three rockets targeted the airport. There were also attacks on September 2, 3 and 5.
Iran’s Fars News agency is celebrating these increased attacks by highlighting US Central Command’s recent statements on them. “Attacks on our forces have increased,” Fars News quoted the US commander as saying.
Iran calls US forces “terrorist cells” and says the attacks are the work of “resistance.” This is the reverse of what the US says. It tends to view the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group and calls the attackers “rogue militias.”
Either the attacks are ordered by Iran or use Iranian weapons, the US has said, according to Fars News. Its report did not try to downplay this accusation and said the US escalated the situation in Iraq by killing IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani in January.
The article indicates that Iran is messaging about its role. It cites comments by US Central Command Commander Kenneth McKenzie and notes that “Iran’s goal is to force the United States to leave the region.”
By highlighting the US statements, without any kind of pushback, it appears to be giving them credence and basically taking responsibility for what Iran must see as a successful harassment campaign against US forces.
Washington is drawing down soldiers in Iraq from 5,200 to about 3,000. The US maintained facilities and posts on Iraqi army bases during the war on ISIS. It has transferred around eight of those facilities to the Iraqi security forces. Now, it basically has forces only at al-Asad base, Union III in Baghdad’s Green Zone and near the airport.
This was a demand made by the Iranian-backed militias, even though the US has claimed it did this because anti-ISIS operations were successful and because of COVID-19 and other issues.
All these areas have come under constant rocket attacks. Iran exports its 107-mm. rockets to militias in Iraq. These militias often come under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Units, a group of Shi’ite militias that are an official paramilitary force.
However, to distance Iran from the attacks, new “groups” have popped up in Iraq to claim responsibility. This is likely because the US carried out airstrikes on Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah in December and March and recently targeted the group’s websites.
In short, the US knows who is behind the attacks, Iran knows it has ordered the attacks, and both countries continue their complex dance in Iraq, using media and messaging to show off.


Tags Iran Iraq IRGC