Iraqi police raid Iranian dissident camp UPI

1 08 2009

Full article

BAGHDAD

, July 28 (UPI) — Iraqi police armed with batons, hoses and pepper spray broke up a Baghdad-area camp Tuesday set up by an Iranian opposition group.The raid on Camp Ashraf, home to the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq, occurred as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Iraq on a surprise visit, The Washington Post reported. The camp was protected by U.S. forces until three months ago.

Kenneth Katzman, an Iraq specialist with the Congressional Research Service, called the raid and its timing “very serious.”

“It suggests that, as the Iraqi government is increasingly independent of the United States, it might use this freedom of action to ‘settle scores’ with its opponents or act on behalf of outside benefactors,” he told the Post by e-mail.

On Monday, leaders of the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq said the group would be willing to go back to Iran if that country, Iraq, the United States and the United Nations all guaranteed their safety. The same day, the Iraqi government said it guaranteed the safety of the camp residents.


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