U.S. bases in Iraq take precautions against attack by Iranian-backed militants
U.S. bases take precautions against threat
The U.S. military has beefed up security at some of its bases after a threat that an Iranian-backed militant group was planning attacks, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq said Tuesday.
Men from Kataib Hezbollah, a Shiite group that U.S. officials say is trained and funded by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, crossed into Iran for training and returned to conduct attacks as U.S. troop levels drop over the summer, Gen. Ray Odierno said in a briefing. By September, 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq.
"This is another attempt by Iran and others to influence the U.S. role here," Odierno said.
The general said Iranian-backed militant groups seem focused mainly on attacking U.S. troops and do not pose a long-term threat to the Iraqi government. He also reaffirmed that the U.S. troop withdrawal remains on track, adding that Iraq needs mostly political and economic support.
"For us, it's about eliminating the environment that allows extremism to exist. . . . That environment will get eliminated through economic and political progress," Odierno said. "We're not abandoning Iraq. We're changing our commitment from military-dominated to one that is civilian-led."
-- Leila Fadel
Detainee sent home from Guantanamo
The Obama administration said Tuesday it has repatriated a Yemeni detainee who was held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, partially lifting its suspension of all transfers to Yemen after a federal judge found "overwhelming evidence" that the man had been held illegally for more than eight years.
President Obama banned transfers to Yemen after the attempted Christmas bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner was linked to al-Qaeda supporters there.