‘Iranian Weapons Smuggling’ Still Vexing Iraqi Propagandists

An official from the Interior Ministry eagerly regurgitated accusations that Iranian weapons are being smuggled through diplomatic channels into Iraq. Meanwhile, a U.S. soldier was sentenced to life in prison for murdering two of his colleagues in Iraq, and at least six Iraqis were killed and 24 more were wounded in the latest violence.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry accused Iraqi officials of supporting Iranian arms smuggling through the border province of Missan. Although there is little evidence proving a Tehran connection, the United States has long sought to prove Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs. Without directly pointing fingers at Iran today, Adnan al-Asadi, who is the former deputy minister of the interior, appears to be doing a little dirty work for the U.S. on this issue. Curiously, he has also been one of the most prominent voices demanding an extension for U.S. troops in Iraq.

Asadi had served as a deputy minister for years, but many critics thought he ran the ministry at a time when it harbored Shi’ite death squads. He quit the Iraq parliament last June and said the resignation was not related to his failed bid to return as deputy interior minister, a post Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had nominated him for. More recently, Asadi called freedom of information a "threat to security," He also warned journalists not to report Iraqi deaths without ministry permission, adding to the belief that the ministry has long conducted a deliberate undercount of casualties.

Back in the United States, Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich, was sentenced to life without parole in the deaths of two colleagues in Baghdad almost three years ago. He also faces demotion and a dishonorable discharge. The court had ruled that Bozicevich planned the murders of Staff Sgt. Darris Dawson and Sgt. Wesley Durbin after the pair had criticized his performance.

In Baghdad, a woman’s dumped body was found in Husseiniya. A roadside bomb targeting security forces in the Suleikh wounded nine people. Gunmen wounded two security personnel working for the Churches Protection Force. Also, 43 suspects were arrested.

An explosives expert was killed as he tried to defuse a bomb in Tuz Khormato.

Gunmen killed a taxi driver and stole his vehicle in Tajiya. Earlier in nearby Hilla police rescued another cabbie from a kidnapping.

In Samarra, gunmen attacked a mosque, killing two people, including a local council member, and wounding a civilian.

A civilian shot to death in Iskandariya.

A car bomb wounded six in Taji.

A grenade tossed at a checkpoint in Falluja left five wounded.

In Jalawla, a bomb wounded one civilian.

A roadside bomb blasted a U.S. patrol near Baquba.

A bomb targeting a police chief in Kirkuk exploded but left no casualties.

Fourteen suspects were arrested across Diyala province.

Explosives were found in Mandali.

American forces handed over responsibility for training Iraqi troops at the Imam Ali Air Base.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.