From The Fourth Rail:
US, Iraqi forces kill 30 Iranian-backed Special Groups operatives
Raid in Sadr City the latest in a series of strikes against the Qods Force front
Iraqi and US security forces maintain the pressure on the Shia terror groups while continuing the hunt for al Qaeda in Iraq. A joint Iraqi and US force conducted a raid inside Sadr City on Wednesday, killing 30 members of the Iranian-backed Special Groups cells and capturing 12. The strike force was targeting a “cell of a Special Groups terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq into Iran for terrorist training,” according to the Multinational Forces Iraq press release.
“The targeted individual in last night’s raid acts as a proxy between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force and the Iraqi EFP network,” and “assists with the facilitation of weapons and EFP shipments into Iraq as well as the transfer of militant extremists to Iran for training.” Two Special Groups operatives were killed and 12 captured during the initial raid, and Coalition air power was called in to strike at a large group of fighters moving in “on foot attempting an assault on the ground forces.” Thirty Special Groups fighters, who are closely affiliated with the “rogue Mahdi Army” factions, were estimated to be killed in the airstrike.
The raid in Baghdad was driven by intelligence gained over the past several months. Multinational Forces Iraq stated that today’s raid is the latest in “a series of coordinated operations efforts that began with the raid in al Amarah in June.” The June operation in Amarah targeted the Qazali Network, which is now referred to as being part of the Special Groups network, along with the Sheibani Network and elements of the rogue Mahdi Army.
The US subsequently captured Ali Mussa Daqduq, a senior Hezbollah operative with close links to Iran’s Qods Force. Daqduq is a 24-year veteran of Hezbollah, who has commanded both a Hezbollah special operations unit and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s security detail. Daqduq admitted to establishing the Special Groups network along the lines of Hezbollah, at the behest of Iran’s Qods Force.
The Special Groups cells are essentially the Iraqi version of Hezbollah.
The Al Qadea is being destroyed, Shia insurgents are being eradicated, so now the Iranians want their turn at geting their asses kicked. This is a terrorist version of bringing a third string off the bench. The good news is that the Iraqi troops are stepping up to the plate in operations like this, and proving their mettle. They’re still trying to fill the void in leadership and structure, and it will take time.
There are other fronts in the GWOT yet to be fought; sooner or later Amadinijhad’s army of pissants and the al Qadea and Taliban remnants hiding in Pakistan safeheavens will have to be dealt with.