If Iranian Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani gets his way (and “the most powerful man in Iraq” usually does), the next attack on Camp Liberty – a tiny compound in Baghdad where roughly 3,000 Iranian dissidents are kept in conditions described by the United Nations as “synonymous with those in a detention centre” – could be the bloodiest yet.
Heat-seeking missiles, recently flown into Baghdad International Airport by Soleimani’s henchmen, will be used to inflict maximum casualties by exploding in areas where detainees congregate to eat and socialise.
When the international community condemns the slaughter, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will blame the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), thereby manufacturing a pretext to intensify the genocidal campaign against his country’s restive Sunni minority.
Soleimani’s advice to Maliki is part of a plan conceived at the highest levels of the Iranian regime, by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and the Supreme Leader himself.
Over the past few weeks, MOIS officials have spoken of an “exceptional opportunity” to “annihilate” the defenceless refugees held at Camp Liberty, “concurrent with efforts to destroy al-Qaeda terrorists,” while Ali Khamenei personally has urged Maliki to “cleanse” Anbar Province and “put an end” to Camp Liberty in one fell swoop.
With the 2014 parliamentary elections just around the corner, Maliki and his Iranian patrons are determined to eradicate all opposition to his rule under the cloak of counter-terrorism operations launched in response to high-profile terrorist attacks which, suspiciously, have so far mostly targeted those who have dared to challenge Tehran’s pernicious influence in Iraq.
At the top of Maliki’s hit list are the men and women interned at Camp Liberty, who have become the rallying point for Iraqis who want to reclaim their country for its citizens; 2 million Iraqis, 3,200 tribal sheikhs, 44 members of parliament and 28 Kurdish groups have come out in support of the Iranian dissidents since last October.
The growth of the threat posed to Iranian interests in Iraq by the Camp Liberty detainees can be measured in the destructiveness of the weapons used against them; whereas previous assaults on the camp have involved 107mm rockets, the perpetrators of the latest (December 26) salvo employed 240mm rockets with an explosive power 20 times that of the smaller ones.
Add heat-seeking missiles into the mix, and the scale of the devastation wrought by the next bombardment will be unthinkable.