Friday, July 13, 2007

The Iran Front

US and Iraqi forces continue to go after Iran's forces within Iraq, this time in the Amin neighborhood of Baghdad:

The violence began with a pre-dawn raid by U.S. forces that the military said captured two militants involved in kidnappings and planting roadside bombs against U.S. and Iraqi troops. Militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the troops, hitting a nearby building, the military said.

U.S. troops later surrounded the neighborhood, announcing via loudspeakers to residents that they were seeking militants and that they should stay inside, said an Iraqi police official who was at the scene. As the Americans withdrew around 11 a.m., they came under fire, prompting troops to move back into the district, assaulting several buildings, the official said.

The result was an exchange of fire that included mortars and rockets, the official said. Residents — many of them Shiites who fled to Baghdad from Baqouba, where U.S. forces have been waging a three-week-old offensive — said that during the fighting, a U.S. helicopter hit several residential buildings and a minibus.

Not even using an Iraq police uniform will protect the Iranian stooges:

U.S. forces battled Iraqi police and gunmen Friday, killing six policemen, after an American raid captured an Iraqi police lieutenant accused of leading a cell of Shiite militiamen, the military said. ...

The captured lieutenant was a "high-ranking" leader of a cell suspected of helping coordinate Iranian support for Shiite extremists in Iraq as well as carrying out roadside bombings against mortar attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces, the military said. The lieutenant is believed to be linked to the Quds Force, a branch of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, it said.

It is a delicate mission. Go after the Sunni Arab killers to protect the innocent Shias and go after the Iranian-paid Shia killers to protect the innocent Sunni Arabs. And all while holding off a Congress and press increasingly eager to run away--and perhaps nervous we will win before their efforts can take hold.