Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | February 18, 2003

Iran-backed rebels enter Iraq

With Open Threads, who needs me? Thrasyboulos points us to this sobering piece in the Financial Times:

Iranian-backed Iraqi opposition forces have crossed into northern Iraq from Iran with the aim of securing the frontier in the event of war, according to senior Iranian officials.

The forces, numbering up to 5,000 troops, with some heavy equipment, are nominally under the command of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, a prominent Iraqi Shia Muslim opposition leader who has been based in Iran since 1980 and lives in Tehran.

A US State Department official said he was aware of reports that part of Ayatollah Hakim's Badr brigade had crossed into northern Iraq but declined further comment. Analysts close to the administration of President George W. Bush said the US was concerned about the intentions of this new element in an increasingly complicated patchwork of forces in northern Iraq.

Northern Iraq is already looking to be a bloody mess, with Shia forces "securing the border", several factions of Kurds furious at the US for potentially selling them out again, MKO Iranian rebels potentially targeting the Kurds and US forces, and Turkish forces taking on the Kurds.

Ugh. Things are getting ugly before the first bullet is even fired.

Posted February 18, 2003 06:14 PM | Comments (15)


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