US Rear Admiral Gregory Smith accused Iran-backed “special groups” of being behind the bombing of a Baghdad pet market, which left 15 dead and 55 wounded Nov. 22. Two bombs hidden in a cardboard bird box exploded simultaneously at al-Ghazl market while it was crowded with people. The market’s recent re-opening was hailed as sign of returning normalcy in Baghdad. “In raids overnight, Iraqi and coalition forces were able to identify and detain four members of a militia extremist group we assess as responsible for this horrific act of indiscriminate violence,” Smith said. “Based on subsequent confessions, forensics and other intelligence, the bombing was the work of an Iranian-backed special groups cell operating here in Baghdad.” However, Smith said there was “no evidence that the Iranian government ordered the attack.”
“The group’s purpose was to make it appear al-Qaeda was responsible for this attack,” Smith said. “Despite killing innocent Shiites and Sunnis, the special group’s aim was to demonstrate to Baghdadis the need for militia groups to continue providing for their security.” (AP, AFP, Nov. 24)
Does the Pentagon really have evidence to suggest this, or is it just the new propaganda line due to the strategic tilt to the Sunnis in Iraq and the war drive against Iran?
See our last posts on Iraq, the sectarian cleansing and Iran.