TOP SECRET WRITERS – Congress Ted Poe (R-TX) is calling on Iraq to protect residents in Camp Ashraf, a camp for Iranian refugees.
Ashraf is west of the Iranian border and north of Baghdad. The camp is the seat of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MKO), an Iranian opposition group.
On April 8th, 34 residents of the camp were massacred by Iraqi forces and the MKO blamed Iran for organizing the attack.
The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents, led by Poe, is calling on Iraq to ensure the safety of thousands living inside the camp.
Poe took a major step toward protecting residents in Camp Ashraf when Congress adopted his amendment, which “makes it the policy of the United States to urge the government of Iraq to uphold its commitments to the United States to ensure the continued well-being of those living in Camp Ashraf and prevent their involuntary return to Iran.”
The amendment also urges Iraq to act in accordance with the United States Embassy Statement on Transfer of Security Responsibility for Camp Ashraf, an agreement Iraq signed onto in 2008, long before the deadly attack on civilians.
General David Petraeus has said the turnover of responsibility of the camp in 2008 was based on a promise that Iraq would uphold the protected status of the camp. Since that agreement, the camp has been the target of at least two unprovoked attacks.
The MKO has been on the US list of terrorist organizations since 1993, but more recently ranking brass in the U.S. milibary have advocated removing the group on the basis that it plays a crucial role in the organized resistance to the Iranian regime.
Meanwhile, Iraq is under pressure from Iran, as well as some internal Iraqi factions, to expel the group from the country – a move that would leave residents even more vulnerable.