Wednesday, January 31, 2007

CNN: Iran involvement suspected in Karbala compound attack

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN)-- The Pentagon is investigating whether a recent attack on a military compound in Karbala was carried out by Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives, two officials from separate U.S. government agencies said.

"People are looking at it seriously," one of the officials said.

That official added the Iranian connection was a leading theory in the investigation into the January 20 attack that killed five soldiers.

The second official said: "We believe it's possible the executors of the attack were Iranian or Iranian-trained."

Five U.S. soldiers were abducted and killed in the sophisticated attack by men wearing U.S.-style uniforms, according to U.S. military reports. (Watch how attackers got into the compound )

Both officials stressed the Iranian-involvement theory is a preliminary view, and there is no final conclusion. They agreed this possibility is being looked at because of the sophistication of the attack and the level of coordination.

Some Iraqis speculate that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps carried out the attack in retaliation for the capture by U.S. forces of five of its members in Irbil, Iraq, on January 11, according to a Time.com article published Tuesday.

Related:

Time-Some Iraqis speculate that the IRGC has already started a campaign of revenge with the killing of five American soldiers in Karbala on Jan. 20, nine days after the arrest of the IRGC members in Erbil. As the logic of the rumor goes, five American soldiers were killed for five Iranians taken; Karbala was an IRGC message to release its colleagues — or else. The speculation that Karbala was an IRGC operation may have as much to do with Iraqis' respect for IRGC capacity for revenge as it does with the truth.

NY Times-Iran May Have Trained Attackers That Killed 5 American Soldiers

ABC News: Bush Says Invading Iran 'Not the Plan'

ABC News: Bush Administration Decides Not to Release Evidence Against Iran

USA Today: General says U.S. has proof Iran arming Iraqi militias

L.A. Times: More flights likely along the Iranian border