Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Iraqi Army Takes Over Camp Ashraf


"After the failure of negotiations with the Mujahedeen to enter peacefully, the Iraqi army entered Camp Ashraf with force and it now controls all of the interior and all entrances to the camp," an Iraqi military source said.

The status of Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian opposition group, has been a point of controversy in Iraq since 2003. Most Sunni politicians say the group members are refugees. Thus they are entitled to protection under the Geneva conventions. Of course Sunni politicians are more interested in keeping the group on Iraqi soil as a bargaining chip to use in dealing with Iran. On the other hand, Shiite politicians say Mujahedeen Khalq is a terrorist group that seeks to undermine the stability of a neighboring country. Therefore Iraq, under the constitution, should not house the group.

The U.S. could not find a final solution for the issue either. U.S. forces disarmed the camp years ago. The U.S. also listed Mujahedeen Khalq as a terrorist group. However, the U.S. did not take steps to prosecute or deport the 3,000 strong group, perhaps because the U.S. too sees them as a bargaining chip to use in dealing with Iran.
Now Maliki decided to take things into his hands. It will be interesting to see how he deals with the group members. In my opinion he is smarter than to give away anything for free.

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