Sunday, March 25, 2007

Military Report: U.S., Iraqi and Iranian forces skirmished in September, 6 Iraqis still missing

Above: Iraqi border guards patrolling the border with Iran. Although the report lists the missing as 'border guards', Iran has accused the U.S. of training forces as part of attacks inside Iran which have plagued the country lately. Last September, an Iraq Interior Ministry spokesman announced that 5 border guards and an interpreter had been 'arrested' by Iran, but made no mention of the skirmish. Reports at the time said it was 'unclear' as to which side of the border the incident took place.

According to a U.S. Army report out of Iraq obtained by U.S. News, American troops, acting as advisers for Iraqi border guards, were recently surrounded and attacked by a larger unit of Iranian soldiers, well within the border of Iraq...

During a joint border patrol, both American and Iraqi soldiers saw two Iranian soldiers run from Iraq back across the Iranian border as they approached. The patrol then came upon a single Iranian soldier, on the Iraqi side of the border, who did not flee.

While the joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol was speaking with the soldier, according to the report, the patrol was "approached by a platoon-size element of Iranian soldiers." An Iranian border captain then told the U.S. and Iraqi soldiers that "if they tried to leave their location, the Iranians would fire upon them." During this conversation with the Iranian captain, Iranian forces began firing and continued when U.S. troops tried to withdraw.

Iraqi and American forces returned fire "to break contact and left the area to report the incident," the report noted. "The Iranian forces continued to fire indirect fire well into Iraq as Coalition Force soldiers withdrew; for reasons unknown at this time, the Iraqi Army forces remained behind."

Read the rest at U.S. News and World Report

Related Link:
FOIA Response titled 'Incident near Iranian border' at U.S. News and World Report (PDF)

Related Link:
Iranian Troops Arrest 5 From Iraqi Security Forces on Border (09/09/06)

Related Link:
Kuwait makes 2nd complaint in 2 weeks to Iraq about border incidents (09/03/06)