The Elements of Iranian Intervention to Support Nuri Al-Maliki
The "New Arab"- Baghdad
The announcement by the Iraqi government of a military team of American advisors to start providing assistance to the Iraqi army forces through a joint operations room happened in parallel with the announcement of a similar Iranian bureau headed by the commander of Iran's Quds Force, Qassim Suleimani to provide military aid to the government of Prime Minister with the expired mandate Nuri al-Maliki. Despite the denial by the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman 'Maradiyya Afkham' on Thursday that her government had sent military forces to Iraq, having insisted instead that Suleimani was not in Baghdad, Iraqi sources revealed to the "New Arab" that Iranian aid to the Maliki government exceeded the mere supply of arms and ammunition and instead supported Maliki with hundreds of fighters belonging to the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards. In addition, Iranians bribed political and media Sunni figures in order to give the conflict a non-sectarian dimension, and to project that what was happening was a question of coping with the terrorism posed by Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
A senior source in the Iraqi army chief of staff who declined to be named, told the "New Arab" that the "Quds Force has taken from the military base of 'Al-Rashid' located 15 kilometers south of Baghdad and that the 'Balad' military base located 90 km north of Tikrit in addition to the radio and the old television building situated in Baghdad in the area of Salhiyya as their HQ." The source added that "the Iranian committee consists of nine generals of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard headed by Suleimani himself the leader of the government team and by the Minister of Transport Hadi al-Amiri, the commander of Salahuddin province Sabah Fatlawi in addition to a number of other officers."
The source added that "military transport planes as well as civilian ones transported during the past 48 hours 78 tons of weapons and ammunitions: air-surface and air-air Russian and Iranian missiles of various types as well as various military equipment and supplies with more than 500 thousand rounds of Kalashnikov rifles, rifles, PKC shells and RPG shells. The source pointed out that "there are about 300 members of the Revolutionary Guard base in the 'Balad' military who carried out airdrops in several regions of Salahuddin and Dayala, as well as having succeeded in achieving progress on the ground" further explaining that "in the old radio and television building in the area of Salhiyya in central Baghdad, you have the Iranian team headed by Abu Ali al-Haidari, an Iranian who manages the media coverage of the satellite channels of the government and/or of the parties that work for them in Iraq."
As for the losses in incurred the recent battles, the source revealed "the killing of 11 members of [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards in the fighting in Samarra and in the area around Baghdad in addition to several others wounded" while denying the existence of any captured element of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, as reported by local and Arab media. In addition of all of the above the source pointed out that "the Iraqi Transport Minister, is currently leading the battles in Dayala accompanied by members of the 'Badr' militia the latter heads, all backed and supported by Iranians, in addition to others belonging to fifth division of the Iraqi government army." The source confirmed the existence of "two Iranian reconnaissance drones currently covering around 400,000 square kilometers of Baghdad, Nineveh and Salahuddin in addition to parts of Anbar and Kirkuk, providing information and vivid images from the sites of presence of armed factions."
The source pointed out that this "contributed to the execution of air strikes from helicopters belonging to the Iraqi Air Force which have been successful, including the assassination of a leader, Abu Khaled Al-Hayali in Tikrit last Monday.
Meanwhile a member of the Iraqi finished-mandate-parliament who declined to be named explained that "Suleimani did not leave Iraq for six days and is personnally supervising a plan to protect Samarra and Baghdad, while his aides are working to support government forces." The MP who is in Baghdad said that "Iranian officers are invisible to the rest of the soldiers and other members of the Iraqi army" and that "those work in complete isolation from the rest but commands are given through a rapid communication system imported from Iran to keep open contact with Baghdad." He pointed out that "Iranian interference is no longer a secret and the United States know this very well but keep silent over it."
For his part, the leader in the "United" [Iraqi parliamentary] alliance Khaled al-Dulaymi described to the "New Arab" Baghdad as "occupied". Dulaymi said: "We expected Iranian intervention, but not at that speed nor of this size" adding that "Suleimani and the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad (Hassan Danaii Fer) are leading the military units and drawing the plans and that al-Maliki, was merely a cover in front of the world.
In the same vein, media and political Iraqi sources in Baghdad said that the Iranian embassy were providing sums up to 100,000 dollars to politicians, tribal leaders and media figures. A known senior Iraqi politician who declined to be named explained for the "New Arab saying "I know figures who went there in response to invitations addressed to them by the [Iranian] embassy. [The Iranians] handed me an invitation as well, but I did not go because of the humiliating way with which they treated others with " and he added "I've learned that the figures have been invited got good money, more than 100 thousand dollars. They are politicians, tribal Sunni sheikhs and a number of journalists and correspondents as well as news agencies who all were asked to do something in return for those gifts and in getting the immunity granted upon them by the ruler of Iraq."
Original Arabic article