Small Wars Journal

Declassified Interrogation Reports Show How Much Iran Shaped Iraq War

Declassified Interrogation Reports Show How Much Iran Shaped Iraq War by Michael R. Gordon and Ben Kesling – Wall Street Journal

Recently declassified U.S. interrogation reports shed new light on one of Iraq’s most prominent Shiite political figures and Iran’s role in training and arming Iraqi militias that attacked U.S. troops during the Iraq war.

The interrogations of Qais al-Khazali, the leader of a major Shiite militia group that is trying to carve out a political role in Iraq, were conducted a decade ago after he was captured by the American-led coalition. The coalition accused him of organizing a 2007 attack that led to the deaths of five U.S. soldiers.

The reports were declassified and approved for public release by the U.S. Central Command months ago as part of an effort to study the history of the Iraq war. Though they haven’t been officially distributed by the U.S. government, copies have been reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The reports have been circulating in Washington as lawmakers and Trump administration officials have been debating whether to designate Mr. Khazali and his militia group as terrorist entities.

The reports are also likely to roil the political scene in Baghdad, where Mr. Khazali is jockeying for power with other Shiite political leaders, including Moqtada al-Sadr, the fiery Shia cleric whose movement reaped impressive gains in the recent Iraqi elections and whom Mr. Khazali broke with, as shown in the reports…

Read on.