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.

 

Sudan clamps down on journalists covering bread protests

Tribal feuds spread fear in Iraq's Basra

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Cyprus denies bail for Israeli organ trafficker

Rising Yemen currency sparks hopes of relief

Turkish ministries to investigate underage pregnancy cover-up

Iraq PM launches online appeal for election allies

Iran central bank sees claim for billions from German stock market blocked

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop Kirkuk oil fields

Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin, kill Palestinian

HRW chief says 'Nobody should be forcibly returned to Libya'

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after 'liberation'

Seven years since ousting dictator, Tunisians still protest

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'

Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral ‘slap video’

Arab league slams US freeze of Palestinian funding

Dubai billionaire to sell 15 percent Damac stake

Britain to put women at heart of peace work in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan

Saudi to give Yemen government $2bn bailout

US withholds $65 million from UN agency for Palestinians

Saudi Arabia intercepts new Yemen rebel missile attack

Syria Kurds vow to cleanse enclave from Turkish 'scourges'

Israeli police find missing Briton’s belongings in desert

Algeria gas plant workers mark five years since jihadist siege

UN says over 5000 children killed or injured in Yemen war

European leaders’ response to Iran protests raises questions

Erdogan to visit Pope Francis next month

Iran slams US-backed 'border security force' in Syria