WASHINGTON — Iran is supporting three Shiite extremist groups in Iraq that have been attempting to attack US bases, General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, said Wednesday.
For the past four years the US military has blamed Iran for supporting violent anti-US groups operating in Iraq, but has been unable to establish a clear link with the government in Tehran.
“The Iranians… continue to fund, train and provide weapons and ammunition to Shiite extremist groups,” Odierno told reporters here.
The Iranians have “gone to a more sophisticated program with a smaller set of extremists” and are now focusing on three groups, which he identified as Ketaib Hezbollah, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous), and the Promise Day Brigade.
“It’s very difficult to say if the extremist groups are directly connected to the Iranian government,” he said.
“But we do know that many of them live in Iran, many of them get trained in Iran, and many of them get weapons from Iran,” he said.