Iran Involvement Killed 500 US Troops In Iraq And Afghanistan

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Intelligence estimates place the number of U.S. troops killed as a result of Iranian support for militants in Iraq at approximately 500, though the amount, many suspect, is much higher.

Iranian involvement behind the scenes dates back to President George W. Bush’s decision to ship thousands of troops to Iraq, Military Times reports.

The idea was to help stem the tide of civil war tearing the country apart. In 2005, Iran started building explosively formed penetrators, called EFPs, and shipping them across the border to Shiite militants. EFPs are much more sophisticated than other explosive devices. Officials determined in 2007 that the “machining process” used to manufacture the EFPs indicated an Iranian origin. Aside from explosive devices, Iran also reportedly sent over the Misagh-1 surface-to-air missile, .50 caliber rifles, and rockets, among other weaponry.

Although the Obama administration finally signed a deal with Iran in an attempt to thwart its steadily advancing nuclear weapons program, the latest figures may provide the extra ammunition those in Congress need to oppose the deal when it moves through the legislature.

The numbers originated from Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford’s recent confirmation hearing, after GOP Sen. Tom Cotton pressed him for answers.

“I know the total number of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that were killed by Iranian activities, and the number has been recently quoted as about 500,” Dunford stated at the hearing. “We weren’t always able to attribute the casualties we had to Iranian activity, although many times we suspected it was Iranian activity even though we didn’t necessarily have the forensics to support that.”

But according to a Pentagon official, the 500-figure has its roots in speculative intelligence data, as the Department of Defense doesn’t keep track of casualties caused by Iran. But a retired Army Special Forces officer, David Bolgiano, who served with Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, stated that the current estimate of casualties is likely low.

This makes the Iran nuclear deal that much less palatable in the eyes of Republican legislators. Sen. Cotton thinks the agreement should never have been signed.

“When I was a platoon leader in Iraq, my soldiers and I faced deadly roadside bombs, made and supplied by Iran,” Sen. Cotton said in a statement. “I tried to reassure them, but I could only tell them to hope it wasn’t our day to die by Iran’s roadside bombs. If Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, I fear the United States will only be able to hope it isn’t our day to die by an Iranian nuclear bomb.”

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