Sad R City
Bill Roggio has more details on the targets of the American assault on Sadr city. It was aimed squarely at an Iranian Qods-backed bombing cell. "A joint Iraqi and US force conducted a raid inside Sadr City on Wednesday, killing 30 members of the Iranian-backed Special Groups cells and capturing 12."
The strike force was targeting a "cell of a Special Groups terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq into Iran for terrorist training," according to the Multinational Forces Iraq press release.
"The targeted individual in last night’s raid acts as a proxy between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force and the Iraqi EFP network," and "assists with the facilitation of weapons and EFP shipments into Iraq as well as the transfer of militant extremists to Iran for training."
Bill Roggio says the latest attack is part of a wider campaign to roll up the Iranian networks operating in Iraq.
The raid in Baghdad was driven by intelligence gained over the past several months. Multinational Forces Iraq stated that today's raid is the latest in "a series of coordinated operations efforts that began with the raid in al Amarah in June." The June operation in Amarah targeted the Qazali Network, which is now referred to as being part of the Special Groups network, along with the Sheibani Network and elements of the rogue Mahdi Army. Over 20 members of the Qazali network were killed, six wounded, and one captured in the Amarah raid.
One of the unanswered questions is how far deep the attacks into the Iranian terrorist conveyor belt goes. MNF-I doesn't actually need to cross the Iranian border to perform a lethal interdiction. Possibly the most damaging form of attack is an intelligence penetration of the Iranian training centers across the border and identifying the members of the EFP cells even before they returned to Iraq.