The Middle East Newsline confirms that Hezbollah has become a major trainer of Iranian-sponsored Shiite militias in Iraq. ¨

Iran has sponsored the so-called Hezbollah Brigades, or Katai’b Hezbollah, in Iraq to attack U.S. and Iraqi military targets. Hezbollah Brigades have been equipped with advanced weapons and trained in Iran and Lebanon. ¨

“One of these groups, Katai’b Hezbollah, an extremist group believed to have Iranian support and guidance, continues to attempt to threaten Iraqi sovereignty by conducting operations against Iraqi citizens and security forces in Iraq,” U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. David Perkins said. ¨

On Oct. 30, Iraqi and U.S. forces captured a suspected financier of the Hezbollah Brigades. The individual said another four Hezbollah-aligned operatives were also arrested in an operation in the Iraqi province of Maysan, which borders Iran. ¨

The Hezbollah Brigades have been equipped with explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, designed to pierce armored vehicles. They said Iran has also equipped and trained Hezbollah to use remote-controlled rocket-assisted mortars. ¨

“Utilizing Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force and Hezbollah training, funding, and weapons such as the improvised rocket-assisted mortar or IRAM, Katai’b Hezbollah tries to intimidate the Iraqi population and conducts direct attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces,” Brig. Gen. Perkins told a briefing on Oct. 29.

“Indirect fireattacks also illustrate the total disregard they have for the safety and well-being of Iraqi citizens.”
¨
Brig Gen. Perkins said Hezbollah Brigades were operating around Baghdad, particularly Sadr City. He said the Iraq Army captured 34 EFPs, 160 bricks of plastic explosives and 14 107 mm. rockets at a Hezbollah safe house.

“We have seen continuing activity by Katai’b Hezbollah,” Brig. Gen. Perkins said. ¨

David Bedein can be contacted at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com.

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.