Dramatic video produced by Iraqi insurgents and captured in a raid earlier this week by U.S. troops clearly shows a battery of sophisticated Iranian-made rocket launchers firing on American positions east of Baghdad, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
The video, captured during a raid on Monday by the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment in northeast Nahrawan, shows insurgents setting up and carrying out an attack on Sunday, as well as an attack on July 11 that killed one soldier and wounded 15 others, officials said. The raid last month appeared to involve 34 launchers firing 107 mm Iranian-made rockets.
The video provides clear visual evidence of the extent to which Iraqi insurgents are equipped to launch deadly rockets on coalition forces, the Pentagon said.
The release of the video comes as officials charge Iran with supplying high-tech bombs used in 99 roadside bomb attacks in Iraq last month.
The powerful weapons, known as explosively formed penetrators or EFPs, accounted for a third of combat deaths suffered by coalition forces, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
The bombs fire white hot slugs that can cut through the heavy armor on Humvees. Intelligence officials said EFPs are being used almost exclusively by Shiite militias. The U.S. has repeatedly claimed that it has evidence Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard is smuggling the weapons into the country — a claim Tehran has repeatedly denied.
Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, told the Times he believes Shiite extremists have stepped up attacks in anticipation of Gen. Petreus' upcoming progress report to Congress on the war.
“I think they want to influence the decision potentially coming up in September,” he said.
Of the 69 coalition soldiers who were lost in action last month, 23 died as a result of attacks with EFPs, Odierno said.