New, Iran-backed insurgents identified in Iraq

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

BAGHDAD A new Shi'ite insurgency group has emerged in Iraq and has pledged not to attack civilians.

The group, called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq-Abbas Brigades, was said to be aligned with Iran and the Lebanese-based Hizbullah. Already the group has pledged to battle the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

"We have been patient enough and we have given the political process a chance," group said in a statement on July 2, Middle East Newsline reported.

The group also produced a three-minute video that was aired by Lebanese television. In the video, the Shi'ite militia pledged not to attack Iraqi civilians.

"We assure them [Iraqis] that operations against civilians are great transgressions," Islamic Resistance in Iraq said. "Members of the Iraqi army, police and Iraqi security agencies are our sons, brothers and beloved. They are our hope for the future to preserve the land of Iraq and its security. So are state employees."

Analysts said the group appeared to have been created by Hizbullah and meant to bolster the Shi'ite opposition in Iraq. So far, the Iranian-backed Badr Brigades and Mahdi Army have been reluctant to attack U.S. troops.

The new group has claimed numerous strikes against the U.S.-led coalition. The video, broadcast on Lebanese New TV, claimed five recent bombings of armored personnel carriers and main battle tanks. No further information was provided.

Copyright 2006 East West Services, Inc.

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