NICOSIA Ñ The Iranian military opposition is fleeing Baghdad and
seeks safe haven. So far, there are few takers.
Thousands of fighters from the Mujahadeen Khalq have been seeking safe
haven amid the fall of the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. About
100 fighters have surrendered to Iran while others have tried to flee
to neighboring Jordan, Syria and Turkey.
Arab diplomatic sources said Syria has refused to accept Mujahadeen
fighters, Middle East Newsline reported. Iran and Syria have strategic relations and Damascus allowed
Iranian warplanes to use Syrian air space during the 1980-88 war against
Jordan has rejected a request by 146 Mujahadeen fighters to enter the
Hashemite kingdom. The official Kuwaiti news agency said the fighters sought
to be granted safe haven in Jordan on humanitarian grounds on April 9. The
request came four days after heavy coalition air strikes on Mujahadeen
The sources said the military presence of the Mujahadeen in Iraq has
been destroyed. They said coalition forces have bombed all of the Mujahadeen
camps, located along the Iranian border and near Baghdad.
U.S. officials said Washington is negotiating for the surrender of
Mujahadeen. They said Mujahadeen was trained and equipped by Iraq and had
been considered a military target. The Mujhadeen force was said to have
amounted to more than 5,000 fighters, backed by tanks and artillery.
"We know that there's a presence of the Mujahideen Khalq inside of Iraq
and indeed we have been targeting them for some time," Brig. Gen. Vincent
Brooks, deputy operations chief at U.S. Central Command, said. "There's work
that's ongoing right now to try to secure some sort of agreement that would
be a cease-fire and capitulation. That work is ongoing and it will most
likely unfold within the coming days."
Arab diplomatic sources said Mujahadeen has sent messages to several
Western European countries for an end to U.S. attacks on Iranian opposition
bases. The sources said Mujahadeen leaders are seeking safe haven in