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.

 

World leaders condemn Britain terror attack

UN-backed Syria talks restart in Geneva

10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings

Erdogan warns Europeans risk being ‘unsafe’ on world’s streets

Saudi film festival launch postponed after sandstorm

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgium’s Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote

Israel policeman suspended after caught on video beating Palestinian

Turkey summons Russia envoy over soldier death in Syria

Bahrain sentences three to death for police bombings

EU summons Turkey envoy over 'safety' remarks

400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City

Qaeda, IS developing harder-to-detect bombs say experts

Terrorist attack at London’s Houses of Parliament

2016 saw sharp rise in illegal Israeli settlement projects

US-led coalition vows lasting victory against IS

Bahrain arrests photographer on unspecified charges

Humanitarian groups demand access to Yemen civilians suffering 'open-air massacre'

33 killed in US-led air strike on north Syria

Rights group says Libyan military committed war crimes

Israel seals East Jerusalem home of Palestinian attacker's family

Migrants in Europe at risk of drug-resistant tuberculosis

Iraqis urged to avoid hurried mass grave exhumations

Turkey steps up objection to US flight laptop ban

Britain joins US in banning laptops on flights from Turkey, Arab world

Anti-IS coalition gathers in Washington to hear Trump plan

Turkey links Gulen to murder of Armenian journalist

Kuwait bans hit movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Five dead in Mogadishu bombing

Khamenei fleshes out 'Made in Iran' vision

Turkey to ask US to reverse flight laptop ban

Israeli army says Hezbollah commander killed by own men

Kurds celebrate Newroz in Turkey's southeast despite shooting

Turkey’s AKP says no more campaign rallies in Germany

Chinese president calls for peace in meeting with Netanyahu

Iraq forces gain ground in Mosul

US bans electronic devices from cabins on Middle East flights

Erdogan says yes vote best response to 'fascist Europe'

Arab Israeli woman gets 50 months prison for joining IS

All Syria sides confirm attendance at Geneva talks