[On Monday, U.S. and Iraqi forces captured eight Iranian operatives in
Baghdad's Sadr City. The U.S. military identified the eight as members of
the so-called Special Groups, a force trained and equipped by Teheran.]
In an Aug. 24 briefing, Lynch said Iran was pouring rockets,
explosively-formed projectiles and other weapons into Iraq. The general said
it was unclear whether Sunni insurgents acquired these weapons directly
"Whether that's a direct hand-off or black-market activity, we don't
know," Lynch said. "But both sides — the Sunni extremists and the Shi'a
extremists — have it and are using that technology to kill Americans and
Iraqis, and that's got to stop. And we're using every means available as to
monitor and take down these networks."
Lynch said at least 50 Iranian agents were operating in his area of
responsibility in central and southern Iraq. He said these operatives, both
Iraqi nationals, were members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Since April 4, Lynch said, his forces have captured more than 117
Iranian-made munitions. He said that in early August, U.S. and Iraqi troops
arrested a Shi'ite liasion between Iran and the Mahdi Army, a leading
"He was the main Shi'a conduit in that region for getting Iranian EFPs
and rockets into Baghdad, and his capture was a big blow to that network,"
Lynch said. "When we found him, we also discovered an insurgent video they
were making that showed 46 Iranian rockets lined up to be fired at one of
our U.S. forward operating bases."
Officials said U.S. forces have captured Iranian mines in Iraq's Wasit
province along the Iranian border. They also cited the seizure of
Iranian-made munitions and weapons systems along the 200-kilometer border
between Wasit and Iran.
"We are up against a new wave of lethality sponsored by the enemies of
the people of Iraq and its government," Lynch said. "We've found and cleared
728 IEDs, to include EFPs, since the surge began [in 2007]."
"But when you take those rockets and you show them to experts in
munitions, EODs -- they look at their documents, they focus on the munitions
and say, 'Those had to come from Iran,'" Lynch added.