Rockets Strike Iranian Dissident Camp; 135 Killed in Iraq

Camp Liberty, a former United States installation, came under a heavy rocket barrage on Sunday. It is unclear if the camp or nearby Baghdad International Airport was the intended target. In either case, fire has reportedly spread to the camp, which houses several thousand members of the Iranian group Mujahedeen al-Khalq (M.E.K. or P.M.O.I.). About 40 residents were wounded. A few Iraqi civilians were also injured outside the camp, when mortars fell short of their goal.

The attack comes on the heels of what is being described as inhumane treatment towards residents there from Iraqi authorities. On June 27, authorities began turning away supply trucks under the pretext that the suppliers did not have the correct paperwork. Food, water, fuel, and other necessities are no longer being allowed into the camp. As of Saturday, July 2, sewage removal trucks were also turned away, threatening the camp with unhygienic conditions. These accusations come from the M.E.K.’s parent organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The Iranian group, considered a terrorist organization by some, had been welcomed into Iraq during the Saddam Hussein administration, but they fell out of favor after the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam. The new Iraqi government then wanted to deport the group back to Iran but could not as the group was given protected status under the Geneva Conventions. Frustrated by this, the Iraqi government has regularly waged harassment campaigns against the group instead, including forcing them out of their former home at Camp Ashraf in 2012. Their domicile at Camp Liberty, was intended to be a temporary measure, while the group awaited relocation to foreign countries.

Elsewhere, the focus on displaced people has been on camps near Fallujah. However, similar conditions await refugees fleeing the Islamic State near Mosul. The Debaga refugee camp near Makhmour is holding three times as many displaced as it has capacity for, and more refugees are expected.

At least 135 were killed and 55 were wounded:

The Iraqi government announced the executions of five people.

Militants executed three Peshmerga in Tal Keif.

A bomb killed two people and wounded nine more in Latifiya.

In Abu Ghraib, a bomb killed a militiaman and wounded four more.

Gunmen in Kirkuk killed one civilian and wounded another.

A civilian was shot dead in Muqdadiya.

One Peshmerga fighter was slightly injured in clashes near Sakhara village.

In Makhoul, security forces killed 72 militants.

Twenty militants were killed in Tal Afar.

Security forces killed 18 militants in Amiriyat al-Fallujah.

Twelve militants were killed in Karama.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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