Gen. Caldwell: Iran providing financial support to some Sunni insurgents

Maybe weapons too, although he can’t prove that (yet). Iranian EFPs have been found in Sunni stockpiles, according to another general, but it’s possible they were bought on the black market, not directly supplied. Although if they’re buying Iranian weapons with Iranian money, then in practical effect it’s the same thing.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said the military had credible intelligence to support the allegation but did not elaborate. He said the support to Sunni insurgents was limited to select groups, which he did not identify.

“It’s not all Sunni insurgents but rather we do know that there is a direct awareness by Iranian intelligence officials that they are providing support to some select Sunni insurgent elements,” Caldwell told reporters…

Caldwell said the weapons issue was still being investigated, but “we do know that they’re providing support in terms of financial support at this point.”

It’s hard to draw conclusions about what their game is here without knowing which groups, specifically, they’re giving money to. If they’re chipping in for the homegrown nationalist/Baathist insurgents like the Islamic Army of Iraq or the 1920s Revolutionary Brigade, it would suggest they’re trying to encourage attacks on U.S. troops; if they’re chipping in for the foreign-born religious sectarian wackjobs like AQ, it would suggest they’re actually trying to encourage attacks on Iraqi Shiites, presumably to instigate a civil war. It could also be a form of protection money in anticipation of having to coexist with the Sunni radicals after the U.S. pulls out and Iran moves in. Iran would take the east and south of the country and the Sunnis, grateful for the help in expelling America, would politely confine themselves to Anbar in the west.

Exit question: If Caldwell knows about this, the Saudis know about it too. How much more money are they giving the Sunni insurgents to retain their sectarian loyalty?

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David Strom 12:31 PM on December 08, 2022