"Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces targeted a
suspected key member of the Kata'ib Hizbullah network assessed to be
responsible for Iranian-supplied Explosive Formed Penetrators used against
Iraqi and coalition forces," the military said in a statement.
The military said Hizbullah was a proxy of Iran in Iraq. Officials said
Hizbullah has responsible for attacks against Iraqi civilian and military
targets over the last three months. On Oct. 7, Iraq's government center was
rocked by two bombs during the visit of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John
Officials said Hizbullah was working with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Brigade for the recruitment, training and equipping of Shi'ite
militias. They said Hizbullah operatives, fluent in Arabic, have replaced
officers from IRGC's Quds Brigade.
The Hizbullah campaign was said to represent an Iranian effort to
undermine the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. Iran has
expressed anger over the Iraqi government's agreement for a proposed
strategic cooperation accord with the United States.
"The Iraqi people won't be deceived by propaganda and the psychological
warfare launched by the U.S. and its allies to pressure the Iraqi government
to approve the security deal," Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Masoud
Jazayeri said. "Undoubtedly, the Iraqi leaders are careful of any mischief
in this regard and won't allow Iraqi history be stained with such a
U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, said Iran was trying
to undermine a strategic agreement between Iraq and the United States. In an
interview with the Washington Post, Odierno said Iran has sought to bribe
Iraqi parliamentarians to block the status-of-forces accord.
"Clearly, this is one they're having a full court press on to try to
ensure there's never any bilateral agreement between the United States and
Iraq," Odierno said. "What I worry about most is the assassination of
candidates as people try to gain influence."