Jim Michaels – Indystar.com January 31, 2007
Iran is supplying Iraqi militias with a variety of powerful weapons, including Katyusha rockets, the No. 2 U.S. general in Iraq said Tuesday.
"We have weapons that we know through serial numbers . . . that trace back to Iran," Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said in an interview with USA Today.
His comments came as the Bush administration has been taking an increasingly tough stance against what it alleges is Iranian meddling in sectarian violence in Iraq. Last week, the White House confirmed that the president had authorized U.S. troops to take action against Iranian agents in Iraq who present threats.
On Tuesday, President Bush vowed to crack down on those who supply Iraqi insurgents with arms, though he denied any plans to invade Iran.
Odierno did not provide further details on how the weapons were linked to Iran. The Iranian government has denied providing weapons to Iraqi militias.
Most weapons supplied by Iran end up in the hands of Shiite extremists, Odierno said.
Several Iranians have been detained in raids inside Iraq, and some remain in custody. The arrests have provided clues about Iranian operations, Odierno said.
"Every time you pick up individuals, you learn about how they facilitate themselves within a country," he said.
He didn't specify whether the Iranians in custody are cooperating, or whether evidence was seized during the arrests
Last updated 01/02/2007