Friday, 04 May, 2007 Politics

A Record Number of Attacks Using Projectiles Registered in Iraq


Despite the fact that the U.S. forces took certain measures to prevent the supply of armor-piercing weapons, by cutting down the weapon-supply networks, the lethal weapons made in Iran were the main reason of a record number of attacks in Iraq last month, United States officials stated. The weapons are known as explosively formed projectiles.

In April around 65 attacks using projectiles were registered in Iraq, which is a record, said Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who currently oversees United States military day-to-day operations in the region. This week Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno stated that the attacks occured mainly in Shiite eastern Baghdad. The U.S. Officials mentioned that the lethal weapons are used exclusively by the Shiite fighters against U.S. military targets.

The continuously increasing number of attacks using projectiles is American commanders' major concern due to the fact that these weapons are so powerful than even the heaviest armor used on U.S. vehicles is not an obstacle, this includes the Abrams tank. Thus the lethal weapons cause more damage than roadside bombs.

The average size of projectiles is about the size of a coffee can, they detonate and send a slug of metal, having the shape of a cone, at high speed towards the target. Thus the projectile acts like a spear, being able to cut through armor and shatter it. In such a way they create debris that cause further destruction.

In order for projectiles to function properly they require components with complicated machining. According to the United States military officials such components in most cases come from Iran.

In recent weeks American military forces were able to capture a leader of a projectiles-supplying network. The captured Iraqi managed the exports of weapons from Iran to Iraq. U.S. military captured several other members of extremist cells that were supplied with funding, training and munitions. Their main supplier was the al-Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Documents and records on the attacks against United States forces were also found. Despite the fact that the captured leader of the network undoubtedly reported to the very top, according to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the senior U.S. commander in Iraq, there is no proof that might indicate the connection with the Iran's leaders.

The Iranian leaders have denied all U.S. statements regarding the involvement of the Iranian government in supporting militant groups in Iraq.

It is worth mentioning that Iraqi fighters, though making their own lethal weapons, were not successful in attacks against U.S. Forces. The projectiles made in Iraq could not fully penetrate the armor.

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