1938 Alert from Reuters :
BAGHDAD, Nov 11 (Reuters) – The quantity of Iranian bomb-making components being found in Iraq is increasing despite a fall in attacks and 20 Iranian-trained agents are still operating south of Baghdad, a top U.S. general said on Sunday.
Extensive Iranian influence in Iraq remained evident, said Major-General Rick Lynch, despite signs of a possible easing of tensions between Washington and Tehran over security in Iraq.
“Iranian influence is dominant at many levels,” said Lynch, whose area of command extends from Baghdad’s southern suburbs south through Sunni Arab insurgent strongholds to the major Shi’ite cities of Kerbala and Najaf.
Lynch said his troops were chasing 20 “targets” he identified as Iraqi Shi’ites who were agents for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’s (IRGC) elite Qods Force.
“They were trained in Iran and they’re conducting operations in our battle space,” Lynch told reporters. “They’re Iraqis but they’re IRGC surrogates and they’re still out there.”