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Iranian Qods Force Operatives Captured In Iraq

5:22 PM, Mar 14, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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Yesterday Danger Room's Noah Schactman reported that U.S. fighter planes shot down an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle in Iraqi airspace, and Iraqi security forces detained three Iranian Qods Force operatives in Diyala province, just north of Baghdad.

Qods Force, the special operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has been active in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. The U.S. military and the Iraqi government largely ignored Iranian activity until late 2006, when it was clear the violence caused by Iranian supported groups such as the Mahdi Army was fueling the sectarian violence.

The U.S. and Iraqi government began cracking down on the "Special Groups", the name given to the Iranian backed Shia terror groups in late December 2008, when several high-level Qods Force officers were detained in a raids in Baghdad. Since then, senior Qods Force commanders and a senior Hezbollah operative have been captured in Iraq. Since October 28, Iraqi and U.S. forces have have killed one Qods Force operative and captured another 14 during raids throughout southern and central Iraq, indicating Iran is still active in Iraq.

Despite Iran's covert and overt acts of war in the region, the West is eager to reward this bad behavior. The U.S. government and military and NATO are contemplating establishing supply lines through Iran to Afghanistan and has invited Iran to participate in a conference on Afghanistan's security, even though Iran supplies arms to the Taliban.