Iranian Backed Hezbollah Captured in Iraq

Our forces captured a Hezbollah operative today Southeast of Baghdad, and it appears that they’ve opted to become actively and openly engaged in Iraq according to this article:

The U.S. military in Iraq has captured the deputy military chief of the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah, coalition officials said.

Iraqi sources said the U.S. Army has arrested the No. 2 figure in Hizbullah’s military wing. The sources said the unidentified Hizbullah commander was responsible for training the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army in the Baghdad area.

“The arrest is a major achievement and could provide an intelligence bonanza,” an Iraqi source said.

The U.S.-led coalition has reported the capture of a senior Iranian operative south of Baghdad. In a coalition statement, the operative was described as a “primary weapons smuggler and financier for Iranian-backed enemy fighters.”

Hezbollah has also announced that they are “opening a front” in Iraq, as noted in this Mid East Times Summary of News from Arab Papers:

Al-Seyassah (Kuwait): Hezbollah decides to open front against Washington in Iraq – NATO sources in Brussels said yesterday that Lebanon’s Hezbollah has opened a military front against the Americans in Iraq, claiming that dozens of its members were now in Iraq training special Shiite and Sunni elements to fight the U.S. forces there. The sources also said that Hezbollah has a plan to subdue the U.N. forces in south Lebanon in the event of another confrontation with Israel.

The Quds force or Hezbollah capture is also noted here by Defense link:

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2008 – Coalition forces killed four enemy fighters and detained dozens of suspected terrorists in recent operations, military officials said.
The leader of an Iranian-backed “special group” surrendered to coalition forces today in Hayy, about 190 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces raided the presumed residence of the special group leader, who’s suspected of directing and ordering attacks against coalition forces in Wasit province, as well as attacks and kidnappings against civil authorities there. The man also is suspected of smuggling Iranian weapons — specifically, Katyusha rockets — into Baghdad.

In a separate operation in Hayy today, coalition forces raided the residence of another wanted special groups operative. The suspect attempted to flee, but coalition forces were able to track him, and he eventually surrendered.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces captured 10 wanted men and 22 other suspects involved in al-Qaida in Iraq’s bombing networks in Mosul, Baghdad and the Tigris River valley yesterday and today.

Coalition forces detained more than 20 suspected terrorists believed to be responsible for car-bomb attacks and weapons smuggling, and killed four others June 4 during an operation targeting a major al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist network along the Tigris River valley in the western portion of the Tamim province.

In separate June 4 operations, Iraqi soldiers uncovered several weapons caches in Baghdad’s Sadr City district. The caches contained rocket-propelled grenades, explosives designed to pierce armor, machine guns, AK-47 rifles, AK-47 magazines, various-sized rounds, mortar fuses, two ski masks and special groups propaganda.

Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered a cache and detained five suspects in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad on June 3-4.

With the known links and support from Iran to Hezbollah, if the statement in Mid-East Times is true, then this is close to the state of Iran openly declaring war on Iraq and the US.