geopolitics-00649
American vehicle destroyed by IED in Iraq.

The US has said that either the attacks are ordered by Iran or use Iranian weapons, according to Iranian media.

On September 10, a katyusha rocket was reportedly fired at a US facility in Baghdad’s airport. On September 8, an explosive device targeted a convoy that supplies US soldiers in Iraq, according to local Iraqi authorities. On September 7, another attack targeted Camp Taji, a base US forces recently left. On September 6, three rockets targeted the airport. There were also attacks on September 5, September 3 and September 2.
Iran’s Fars News is now celebrating these increased attacks by highlighting the US Central Command’s recent statements on them. “Attacks on our forces have increased,” Fars News quotes the US commander as saying. Iran calls the US forces “terrorist cells” and calls the attacks the work of “resistance.” This is a reverse of the US language which tends to view the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) as a terrorist group and calls the attacks “rogue militias.”

The US has said that either the attacks are ordered by Iran or use Iranian weapons, according to Fars News. The news report doesn’t try to downplay this accusation, instead noting that the US escalated the situation in Iraq by killing Iranian IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani in January. Reading the article, it clearly indicates that Iran is messaging about its role. It highlights comments by US Central Command head Kenneth McKenzie and notes that “Iran’s goal is to force the United States to leave the region.”
By highlighting the US statements, without any kind of pushback, it appears to be giving them credence and basically taking responsibility for what Iran must see as a successful harassment campaign on US forces. Washington is drawing down soldiers in Iraq from 5,200 to around 3,000. It has transferred eight facilities as posts and bases to Iraq. Now it basically has forces only at Al-Asad base, Union III in Baghdad’s Green Zone and near the airport. All these areas have come under constant attack by rockets. Iran exports its 107mm rockets to militias in Iraq. These militias often come under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Units, a group of Shi’ite militias that are an official paramilitary force. However, to distance Iran from the attacks a series of new “groups” have popped up in Iraq to take responsibility. This is likely because the US carried out airstrikes on the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah in December and March and recently targeted the group’s websites. In short: The US knows who is behind the attacks, Iran know it has ordered the attacks, and both countries continue their complex dance in Iraq, using media and messaging to show off.