March 23, 2007

Iran Attacked US Forces In September

While the world wonders about the attack on and abduction of 15 British sailors by Iranian forces earlier this month, US News & World Report published the details of an attack by Iranian forces on Iraqi and American troops last September:

As the British government demanded the immediate release of 15 of its sailors whose boats were seized by Iranian naval vessels in the Persian Gulf on Friday, U.S. News has learned that this is not the first showdown that coalition forces have had with the Iranian military.

According to a U.S. Army report out of Iraq obtained by U.S. News, American troops, acting as advisers for Iraqi border guards, were recently surrounded and attacked by a larger unit of Iranian soldiers, well within the border of Iraq.

The report highlights the details: A platoon of Iranian soldiers on the Iraqi side of the border fired rocket-propelled grenades and used small arms against a joint patrol of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers east of Balad Ruz. Four Iraqi Army soldiers, one interpreter, and one Iraqi border policeman remain unaccounted for after the September incident in eastern Diyala, 75 miles east of Baghdad.

The Coalition forces saw three Iranian soldiers in Iraqi territory. As they approached, two of them ran back across the border, but one remained in Iraq. The joint force started interrogating the Iranian, and that's when the attack commenced. A stronger contingent of Iranians materialized and threatened to attack the US/Iraqi patrol if they tried to leave. While the Iranian captain told them this, his forces started firing on the patrol with small arms and RPGs.

The Iraqis and Americans returned fire at that point, and they took no casualties. However, the forces were unable to account for a half-dozen Iraqis after the incident. The report does not say whether the missing men were ever found or released by the Iranians, assuming they were captured.

This isn't the first time Iran has captured British sailors, either. In June 2004, they seized three British patrol boats and detained eight sailors. Teheran released them shortly afterwards, but analysts believed that they wanted to shift attention from the recently-released IAEA report that accused them of dishonesty in violating the non-proliferation agreement. They also may have wanted to push oil prices higher in order to make Bush's re-election more difficult.

Iran should take care. The British still have diplomatic relations, and so far have acted as a brake on American action against the mullahcracy. London may decide that the Iranians aren't worth the effort.


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Comments (15)

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 23, 2007 10:41 PM

We're too far into this, not to have contingency plans.

And, if all this is ... is a "wait and see?" Then who gets to "wait?" And, who gets to see?

Meanwhile, the donks in congress are nowhere near a majority. Yes, they got 25 "extra seats" in the house. But if you think pelosi is making a grand entrance, it's more like a lunatic assylum, than anything.

Maxine Water, of all people! Was putting pelosi's chain.

Can't imagine house members are "happy." Because they're caught.

Of course, they're depending on Bush to FOLD.

And, that's the "game."

While in England, I suppose, Blair can send Iran a few of his wetted nappies. I don't expect much from the idiots in England.

We've played this thing like it's a high school revelry; instead of being really serious. And, causing major pain when this crap breaks out.

Meanwhile, "Ban," (Kofi's UN replacement), got spooked when he was talking and the "boom" went off, hurting the SUNNI deputy prime minister, seriously.l

But seriously, we're still way too close to the saudis. And, they're really financing most of the mischief.

What Iran did? What do you think would be a good reply? "Wait and see" doesn't work for me. But diplomacy is just a waste of time.

Anyway, IF Bush had the nerve, he'd spell "pull out" with bringing in, instead, ONE PLANE. ONE BOMB. And, Sayonara to the sand fleas.

Posted by Tom Holsinger [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 23, 2007 10:46 PM

Blair will do nothing beyond diplomatic noises.

Posted by John Norris Brown [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 12:29 AM

I guess the best answer, short of war with Iran (which I do not support), is to seal the Iraqi border with Iran. But given that we can't even come close to sealing our own border, I doubt that will happen.

Posted by Pat Patterson [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 1:12 AM

The problem is that since Saddam Hussein abrogated the border treaty in the Shat-al Arab area there is no clearly defined border between the two countries. And until there is a new treaty between Iraq and Iran these confrontations will continue.

Posted by Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 5:53 AM

Take a real good and close look at our House, they’ve just put on two-sided sign’s where some in the front read ‘terrorize me’ or ‘kill me’ while the sign the back is complete with a ‘bulls-eye.’

We might be arrogant, ignorant and stupid enough not to recognize these signs of weakness but I certainly wouldn’t count our enemies to make that same mistake. In fact, I’d expect our enemies to take full advantage of our political climate, domestically and internationally.

Were I our enemies, I’d certainly begin escalating attacks against US/Allied interests regionally and worldwide. While in Iraq, I’d begin coordinating and evolving from a battleground whose tactics are dominated by a guerrilla/urban/insurgency strategy, to a battlefield strategy where the tactics become conventional and positional by nature - take, hold and secure(sound familiar?). All the while, funds for our troops dry-up.

Posted by David2 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 5:55 AM

This event reminds me of the capture of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah last summer. In that case the enemy also briefly invaded neighboring territory and carried off soldiers. They seemed to have underestimated the response of the Israeli government at the time.
Iran did not learn much from that episode. I am sure they do not expect the West to launch a major attack. And they may be right. But they are wrong to imagine that things are going to go they way they hope. Great Britain has in the past been roused from its lethargy by events such as these. There was that little war with Argentina awhile ago.
Surely the Iranian people will not be taken in by this attempt to distract them from their grievances. And how many US carrier groups are now in the region? One recently arrived. Did the other one go home? Or is it still there?
Bush seems to be a bit angry these days. I don't think they will like him when he's angry. Both Iran and the democrats don't seem to realize it's a whole lot easier to deal with him when he's trying to go the extra mile. Saddam made that mistake. And his final video performance really does "say it all". A picture is worth a million words or an incredible number of sound bites.
All Bush has to do is get thru the next 18 months and he can rest for the remainder of his life. While I don't envy what he may go thru in that brief time I think that it makes him a dangerous man to provoke. He has a lot of experience. And he's got Dick Cheney next door to help him out.
Iran is listening to the democrats. And that's always a dangerous thing to do.

Posted by sanethinker [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 7:11 AM

Britain & US should impose a total naval blockade on Iran until the 15 are released. No goods in or out of Iran till then.

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 7:55 AM

"Iran should take care."

why? there's absolutely nothing we can do about it except jump up and down. if we won't do anything about them getting the a-bomb and killing us daily in iraq why do you think we would risk a confrontation over 15 sailors. by last count they have killed 150 of our gi's to date. what exactly have we done about that.

what we will do is huff and puff until they are released. they will be released unharmed when the mullahs feel like it. meanwhile our being bitch slapped will continue. stop crying about it!

Posted by azlibertarian [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 8:08 AM

While I acknowledge that we have little-to-no capability or interest in a land invasion of Iran, and that Arabs are not Persians, a recent example of the taking of hostages by a Gulf country didn't turn out so well.

Personally, I think we're seeing the West take baby-steps towards another Gulf of Tonkin.

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 8:43 AM

On the contrary Ed, Iran has mapped out the realpolitik calculus brilliantly.

Blair's a short-timer. He's gone in a matter of months. The mullahs know the UK has already surrendered, and that the next PM will have a much harder time justifying the "special relationship" with the US. Domestically, the UK has pretty stark terrorism issues with their own population.

The mullahs also see their allies the Dhimmicrats doing everything they can to obtain America's complete surrender by next year. They are fully aware and emboldened by this fact, and know that they just have to survive another 18 months or so, and Iraq belongs to them.

So at this point, they know the only real threat to the mullahs is a collapse of the regime from within due to Iran's faltering economy and the sanctions they are trying to pretend aren't hurting them. Therefore they need to score as many points as they can. They need manufactured incidents like this to delay their own people from putting their backs up against the wall when the freedom revolution begins.

So they've rightfully figured out that the UK will do nothing. They've also figured out that the US will not act on behalf of the UK without the UK saying so, and since the UK refuses to do ANYTHING about this other than to have their diplomats write stern letters, Iran can milk this for the domestic "Death to the Great Satan" crowd for all its worth.

We've already been attacked in Iraq by these bastards. They have committed a number of acts of war against the US. We have done nothing and will continue to do nothing right up until the point the Iranians announce that they have the bomb.

And then it will be too late.

Posted by Paul A'Barge [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 8:55 AM

The Iraqis and Americans returned fire at that point, and they took no casualties. However, the forces were unable to account for a half-dozen Iraqis after the incident.

What? We took no casualties, and actually lost some of "our" guys (Iraqis)?

What unit was this, the gay squad?

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 9:22 AM


I think you're spot on here. Too many precedents have been observed to think otherwise regarding Iranian responses. I'm not convinced that we (or the Brits) will respond harshly despite the flashing red light that was the removal of Saddam's regime.

My only quibble would be that there is some nascent street uprising that will coalesce into tangible revolution. We've been hearing of this for years. It never really materializes. I'm afraid the mad Mullahs have as much control of their "oppression" as they need. I agree again, though, with your assertion that these manufactured incidents are indeed tools to deflect attention and to rally local sentiments. To the degree that it works is a good indicator that the Iranian public is still beholden to its leaders and a good sign that they will NOT revolt. Pride and patriotism may well trump economic discomfort, and so far, it's only discomfort. I imagine that can last a pretty long time. Replacing one figurehead with another is an easy move as is tweaking policy to do nothing while superficially promising everything.

Posted by Harleycon5 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 9:24 AM

One of the biggest problems with the entire Iraqi war strategy is not making Iran fear us early on. Any involvement in attacking our troops should have been met with an immediate and forceful reaction by President Bush where he promised "Immediate and dire consequences" should we meet Iranian involvement again. What we have now is Iran playing a game they think they already have won. Kill when you can, arm the insurgents, and wait. The President must make it clear that he is the Supreme military commander and dare congress to be labeled cowards. The problem is that this President has less control of the Bully pulpit than any in recent history. Would Ronald Reagan have avoided meeting the press if Iran attacked us? Of course not.
The lesson in all this is that the Press does hate the President and all Republicans, but a President can counter this with well presented words to them and the people. Why have we gotten to a stage where the only person we see is the press secretary? A President should not be encapsulated in the walls of the oval office.

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 24, 2007 1:41 PM

The Iraqis and Americans returned fire at that point, and they took no casualties. However, the forces were unable to account for a half-dozen Iraqis after the incident.

They were trying to take American soldiers hostage. It was an ambush that went sour.

They took whatever soldiers they could back with them across the iranian border, but the ones they got were the wrong make and model. They may be being held as bargaining chips in the future, or they're dead.

Terrorists within Iraq have had bounties on American soldiers for years now. They want an ALIVE American soldier to parade in front of the cameras. It had never occurred to me before that perhaps Iran was the funding source for this request for an alive and kicking American soldier.

One wonders what the plan would be if they could get 15 American soldiers, instead of 15 Brit sailors. They have such a good history of successfully conducting hostage negotiations with American presidents, after all.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 25, 2007 6:51 AM

Diplomacy without an "Or else" is a waste of time.We should start detaining Irani shipping, blockade their ports, confiscate their airliners when they land in the west, arrest their diplomats and confiscate their embassies, cancel their passports.
Then the second day...