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 Iran has moved ballistic missiles into Iraq in preparation for an American attack

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PostSubject: Iran has moved ballistic missiles into Iraq in preparation for an American attack   Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:53 pm

Iran has moved ballistic missiles into Iraq in preparation for an American attack

Baghdad refuses to comment

31/08/2018 - 14:12 Iraq



Iranian and Iraqi sources said that Iran has provided ballistic missiles to Shiite factions that are fighting proxy in Iraq (referring to the popular militia), and is developing the ability to build more missiles there to deter potential attacks on its interests in the Middle East and to have the means to hit its opponents In the region.

Iran is also seeking to develop the capability to manufacture more missiles for its Iraqi allies in order to deter potential attacks on its interests in the Middle East and to have the means to hit its adversaries in the region, Reuters reported.

Iran has many allies in Iraq, notably prominent leaders in the popular rally, who achieved success in the May 12 parliamentary elections.

Three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources and two Western intelligence sources said Iran had moved short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq over the past few months. Five officials said they were helping those groups start making rockets.

"The logic was to get a backup plan if Iran was attacked," Reuters quoted an official as saying. "The number of rockets is not large, just a few dozen, but it can be increased if necessary."

Iran has previously stated that ballistic missile activities are defensive in nature. Iranian officials declined to comment when asked about the latest moves.

The Iraqi government also declined to comment.

Rocket and rocket ranges range from 200 to 700 kilometers, putting Riyadh and Tel Aviv closer if they are deployed in southern or western Iraq within two areas where the Jerusalem Force has military bases.

Three sources said Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani was overseeing the plan.

Western countries have accused Iran of transferring missiles and technology to Syria and other Tehran allies, such as the Houthis in Yemen and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Iran's Sunni neighbors in the Gulf and its arch-rival, Israel, expressed concern about Iran's regional activities and viewed them as a threat to their security.

Israeli officials did not immediately respond to requests to comment on rocket transfers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday anyone threatening to wipe out Israel would "put himself in a similar danger."

A Western source said the number of rockets was up to 10, and that the transfers were intended to send a warning to the United States and Israel, especially after air raids on Iranian forces in Syria.

The United States has a large military presence in Iraq.

"Iran appears to have turned Iraq into its forward missile base," the Western source said.

Iranian sources and an Iraqi intelligence source said a decision had been made about 18 months ago to use "militias" to produce rockets in Iraq, but activity has increased in the past few months, including the arrival of rocket launchers.

"If we are attacked by America, our friends will attack their interests and their allies in the region," said a senior commander of the Revolutionary Guards who served during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The Western source and the Iraqi source said the factories used to develop missiles in Iraq were in Zaafaraniya and Jafar al-Sakhr, two areas under the influence of the Shiite factions.

The Iraqi intelligence source said the Zaafaraniya factory produced warheads under Saddam Hussein. The source said Shiite factions had reactivated it in 2016 with Iranian help.

The source said a team of Shiite engineers working at the facility under Saddam had been brought in to run it after they were searched. He also said the missiles were tested near the cliff.

The CIA and the Pentagon declined to comment.

A US official speaking on condition of anonymity said Tehran had in the past few months transferred missiles to groups in Iraq but could not confirm that the missiles had any launch capabilities from their current positions.

A regional intelligence source also said Iran was stockpiling a number of ballistic missiles in areas of Iraq under effective Shi'ite control and the ability to launch them.

The source could not confirm that Iran has a missile production capability in Iraq.

Another Iraqi intelligence official said Baghdad was aware of the flow of Iranian missiles into Shi'ite factions to help fight a duel but that shipments continued after the organization was defeated.

"It was clear to the Iraqi intelligence that such a missile arsenal sent by Iran was not intended to fight a preacher but as a means of pressure that Iran can use once in the regional conflict," the official said.

The Iraqi source said it was difficult for the Iraqi government to stop or persuade those factions to sever their relationship with Iran.

"We can not restrain the militias from firing Iranian missiles because simply we do not have the launch button, which controls the pressure button, they are the Iranians," he said.

"Iran will certainly use the missiles it delivered to the Iraqi militias to send a strong message to its adversaries in the region and the United States that it has the capability to use Iraqi territory as a platform to launch its rockets anywhere and anytime it wants," an Iraqi official said.

The Iraqi parliament passed a law in 2016 to put most of the Shiite factions in the framework of the popular crowd and be under the supervision of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi.

However, Iran still retains its word for the popular mobilization forces, which met and often meet with Qassem Soleimani.

http://www.basnews.com/index.php/ar/news/iraq/462471
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