First Published: 2007-02-14

 
US military confirms Iran weapons allegations
 

Major General Caldwell reiterates that ‘explosively formed penetrators’ are manufactured in Iran, smuggled into Iraq.

 

Middle East Online

Caldwell: ‘the devastating effect the EFP produces’

WASHINGTON - A US military spokesman formally put on the record Wednesday allegations first made by anonymous defence officials that Iranian armour-piercing bombs have killed 170 US-led coalition troops in Iraq.

Reacting to criticism that faceless briefings had undermined the credibility of the US case, Major General William Caldwell repeated the bulk of Sunday's claims at a televised press conference in Baghdad.

He reiterated that "explosively formed penetrators" -- a form of roadside bomb -- are manufactured as components in Iran and smuggled into Iraq, where they are assembled and used by Shiite militia groups.

Caldwell said the initial briefing had been intended to publicly pressure -- "since we've been unsuccessful through other political means thus far" -- the Iranian government to cut off the supply of weapons.

"We're asking the Iranian government to assist in stopping that occurring. The reason why we have gone public is because it is a force protection issue... because of the devastating effect the EFP produces," he said.

Caldwell said the numbers of EFPs turning up on the Iraqi battlefield had increased by 150 percent between January and December 2006 and the weapon has been blamed for killing 170 US and allied soldiers and wounding 650.

The general backtracked, however, from a claim made at the anonymous briefing that weapons smuggling was initiated at "the highest level" of the Iranian government, branding that allegation as analysts' "inference".

He did say, however, that members of the Revolutionary Guards Al-Qods Force -- an Iranian special forces unit "who works for the government of Iran" -- had been arrested inside Iraq and directly linked to arms smuggling.

 

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Iraqi-Arab Gulf rapprochement makes headway

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land