NPR logo Iran-Tied Extremists Threaten U.S. In Iraq: Odierno


Iran-Tied Extremists Threaten U.S. In Iraq: Odierno

U.S. Army Gen. Raymond Odierno in Baghdad, Iraq. KARIM KADIM/AP hide caption

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Some U.S. bases in Iraq increased their security after threats from Iranian-backed militants, the top U.S. commander there told journalists Tuesday.

Gen. Ray Odierno pointed to a Shiite militia group called Kata'ib Hizbollah as a concern for the U.S. military. That U.S. has made the official determination that the group is linked to Iran.

An excerpt from the Associated Press:

"In the last couple weeks there's been an increased threat... and so we've increased our security on some of our bases,"Odierno told reporters at a briefing in Baghdad.

"This is another attempt by Iran and others to influence theU.S. role here."

For years, the U.S. has blamed Iran for violence against coalition troops, particularly Americans.

Several years ago when militants in Iraq began targeting U.S. troops with improvised explosive devices that contained shaped charges that were very effective in breaching the armor plating of up-armored Humvees, U.S. officials quickly pointed the finger at Iran, especially saying that components that were recovered contained Iranian identifiers.