US criticizes Iraqi raid on Iranian opposition group camp / WashingtonTV


Washington, 14 August (WashingtonTV)—The US State Department on Thursday criticized Iraqi security forces, saying they had botched an attempt last month to take control of Camp Ashraf, home to some 3,500 Iranian dissidents north of Baghdad.

The raid on the camp claimed the lives of at least seven of the residents, although the residents say 13 died in the clashes.

The US military, which disarmed the camp’s residents in 2003, handed over responsibility for the camp to Iraqi forces in January, under a bilateral security pact.

Human rights groups and some US lawmakers have said that the Obama administration was not doing enough regarding the 36 camp residents detained by Iraq, who were accused of “inciting trouble”.

And the camp residents, members of the Iranian opposition group, Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization [MEK], have said that the U.S. has gone back on promises to protect them.

Phillip Crowley, assistant secretary of state for public affairs, told reporters yesterday that Washington was continuing to talk to Baghdad about respecting the rights of the residents and assuring that they would be treated fairly.

Crowley said that the Iraqi attempt to establish control of the camp “was not executed well.”

“Iraq was trying to extend its sovereignty to Camp Ashraf. We understood what they were tr... >>>