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Friday, July 1, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Three U.S. soldiers in Iraq killed in attack
by Iran's Hizbullah Brigade

BAGHDAD — Iranian-backed militias have been attacking U.S. military facilities in Iraq.


At least one Iranian-sponsored militia was targeting U.S. soldiers and bases amid withdrawal plans in Iraq. On June 29, three U.S. soldiers were killed in a rocket attack in southern Iraq near the border with Iran.

"The weapons were Iranian and the methods were Iranian," a U.S. military officer said.

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This marked the second such strike on a U.S. military base in June.

The U.S. military has blamed the attacks on the so-called Hizbullah Brigades, said to be assigned to target the American military presence in Iraq.

Hizbullah Brigades, believed linked to Hizbullah in Lebanon, has been the only Shi'ite militia to continuously employ the so-called improvised rocket-assisted mortars. IRAM has consisted of 107 or 122mm rockets fired by remote control from a flatbed truck.

So far, the Iranian-aligned attacks have resulted in a spike in U.S. casualties, with 15 dead. June was deemed the bloodiest month for U.S. troops in Iraq since 2009.

For its part, Hizbullah Brigades has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks. They included a June 6 rocket strike on a U.S. facility in Baghdad in which five American soldiers were killed.

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