Ashraf military Occupation – 67
On Tuesday, April 19th, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a conference in Paris unveiling new documents and details on the brutal attack against Camp Ashraf by Maliki’s forces.
In this conference, NCRI Peace and security Commission Chairman Mr. Mehdi Abrishamchi presented a top-secret document obtained by the Resistance from inside the Iranian regime. According to this document, commander of the Iraqi Army’s 5th Division issued a classified order on April 8th describing Ashraf residents as the enemy, assigning five battalions of this division to use force in occupying various sections of Ashraf and destroying any kind of resistance.
This operation that was assigned by Maliki to the Iraqi Army’s Fifth Division left 34 Ashraf residents dead and another 350 injured. The conference also revealed that the terrorist Quds Force took direct part in the planning of this operation.
The conference was attended by; Mr. Jacques Attali ,advisor to the late President Mitterrand , Patrick Baudouin honorary president of the International Federation of Human Rights , François Serres , executive director of the International Committee of Jurists in Defence of Ashraf.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 19, 2011
Speech of Mr. Abrishamchi in conference:
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning/afternoon
Let us first see a short video on the events of April 8 at camp Ashraf. The United Nations announced that in this attack 34 Ashraf residents have been killed, most from gunshot wounds. There are also 350 wounded some in critical condition.
In today’s conference, I will address three topics on this attack and great crime perpetrated in Ashraf on April 8.
• First: Document and intelligence that clearly show this attack had been planned well in advance at the highest levels as a wholly military operation with the specific objective to obliterate Ashraf and massacre its residents.
• Second: The operational plan has been in the making by the Iraqi government with direct supervision and cooperation from the Iranian regime since three months ago. The Iranian Qods force played a direct role in planning and executing this crime.
• Third: We will have a briefing on the latest situation in Ashraf and I shall provide you with information from inside the clerical regime about the plots of the mullahs and their proxy in Iraq Nouri al-Maliki on their next steps vis-à-vis Ashraf
To begin with, please see this document that has reached the Iranian Resistance from inside the clerical regime. You should all have a copy of that in Arabic which is its original form, together with an English translation.
1- This is a top secret document of the Iraqi Army. At the end of the document you see the table of its distribution inside the Iraqi Army. As you can see, due to its sensitivity, only 10 copies have been distributed of which eight has been hand delivered with only two copies sent through email.
2- According to this operational plan, forces from five battalions of the Iraqi Army, including a mechanized battalion and an armored battalion participated in the assault against Ashraf residents who were totally unarmed and defenseless.
3- According to this document, in addition to the Iraqi 5th Division, a battalion from Iraq’s 9th Division also participated in the attack.
4- In the first page of this document, it is plainly stated that Ashraf has to be occupied by force.
5- In this document, seven times, the term “enemy” has been used to address Ashraf residents. This is while we may recall that the Iraqi government, in December of 2008, gave written assurances to the U.S. government that it would observe the rights of Ashraf residents in adherence to international laws. Obviously, the only party that considers Ashraf residents as “enemy” is the clerical regime itself.
This document that carries the signature of Staff Brigadier General Kazem Danbous, commander of the Iraqi 5th Infantry Division, clearly shows that the massacre in Ashraf had been an entirely military plan prepared at the highest levels of the Iraqi Army.
It was in this framework that the Iraqi Army used 2,500 troops equipped with armored vehicles to attack camp Ashraf, residence of 3,400 members of the PMOI who are completely unarmed and protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. In this assault, 34 residents were massacred and 350 were wounded with more than 200 of them suffering gunshot wounds. This attack took place at a time that, since April 2nd, the Iranian Resistance had continuously disseminated information about the built up of forces around Ashraf, including armored vehicles, and continuously warned of the ominous plan of the Iraqi government. However, very unfortunately, the international community in general and the U.S. government in particular did not pay heed to all these warnings and the catastrophe did occur.
The role of Maliki
The Iranian Resistance has specific and unquestionable documents that show that Maliki himself specifically ordered this attack. These documents shall be presented to the court. According to these documents, Maliki and his office gave direct orders to the 5th Division and other parties involved. Even Iraq’s Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces was not aware of this attack.
Aside from these documents, Maliki is directly responsible for the criminal massacre in Ashraf on two grounds and must face trial: first, the prime minister in Iraq is the commander in chief of the armed forces; second, at present Maliki himself is the Defense Minister.
The role of mullahs and the terrorist Qods force of the IRGC
According to reliable information from within the clerical regime, the terrorist Qods force of the IRGC was involved at its highest level in the planning and the execution of this assault. In particular, Brigadier General Ghassem Solaymani, commander of the Qods force, personally supervised the planning of this attack on Ashraf. According to this information, some of the officers of the Qods force were present at the scene of the attack in Ashraf and took part in the killing of Ashraf residents. A number of elements of the Qods force who speak Arabic well participated in the attack of April 8.
Obliteration of Ashraf was the principal precondition set by the Iranian regime to back Maliki for a second term as prime minister. Immediately after the formation of Maliki’s second-term government, the clerical regime began plans for the eradication of Ashraf.
The preliminary plan was discussed during the visit of Kazemi Qomi, Iranian regime’s former ambassador to Iraq and a top commander of the Qods force, to Baghdad on January 5.
According to this information, during the visit of Iranian regime’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi to Baghdad on January 5, the most important subject that he discussed with Maliki was his request that Maliki live up to his promise to the mullahs on annihilating Ashraf.
The current situation in Ashraf and the plan of the Iraqi government and the clerical regime vis-à-vis Ashraf.
All evidence supports the fact that a new massacre by the Iraqi suppressive forces is in the making:
1- There is a wicked political motive in Maliki and his office to carry out the mullahs’ evil orders. Faleh Fiaz, Maliki’s National Security Advisor who is in charge of Ashraf’s dossier in the Prime Ministry, is in direct daily contact with the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad and the Quds Force. He is a member of the al-Dawa Party who has lived in Iran for years, known for not tolerating anyone who may have the slightest humanitarian consideration regarding Ashraf residents.
2- The Iraqi engineering battalions and the Iraqi suppressive security military forces have completed an embankment just to the north of Ashraf’s main street (called Street 100) which is 3 to 4 meters high and 6 kilometers long. This embankment is wide enough to allow military vehicles to move on top of it. This kind of embankment is usually constructed at warfronts in conventional wars.
3- None of the Iraqi military units have left Ashraf or its vicinity. Armored vehicles stationed north of the camp, including BMP1 and HUMVEEs, have their guns pointed south where residents are.
4- In various locations of the camp control booths have been installed; de facto turning Ashraf into a prison. In many locations signs have been posted that if residents get closer than a 100 meters to the embankments they shall be shot.
5- In the first week following the attack, the Iraqi forces initiated relatively large attacks on two different incidents. The first taking place on April 10th and the second on April 13th, attacking the residents with sticks and clubs and shots fired in the air. In each incident 13 residents – including a number of women – were injured, bringing the total number of injuries resulting from these two recent attacks to 26 counts.
6- On orders from the Prime Ministry, a number of commanders of Iraq’s 5th Division who are currently stationed in Ashraf and opposed opening fire on Ashraf residents, have either been relieved from duty or transferred to another post in the military. This includes the 5th Division operations commander named Brigadier General Tareq al-Azzawi, who is said was against opening fire. He was replaced by another officer who has clear sentiment towards the mullahs’ regime.
7- Upon direct orders from Khamenei, a joint security commission composed of top commanders of the IRGC, the terrorist Qods force, the Intelligence Ministry, and the Foreign Ministry has been formed. This commission is tasked to evaluate the measures taken against the PMOI and Ashraf in Iraq so far. It should then specify further actions that need to be taken and issue mandates to its proxy counterparts in Iraq, make necessary coordination, and issue orders to Maliki and his spokesmen. Khamenei has emphasized that measures that the Iraqi government is to take against Ashraf should be supervised by this commission in line with the mutual agreement between the Iranian regime and Iraq. These measures should take note of the regional conditions and the situation in Iraq. Khamenei has further emphasized that due attention should be paid so that these actions could not be tracked back to the Iranian government. The Iraqi government spokesmen should accordingly distance these actions from Iran and depict the issue as a totally Iraqi matter. Considering the social upheaval in Iraq, actions should be planned in such a way not to cause pressure on the Iraq government by foreign governments.
Let me conclude:
Although the massacre in Ashraf has been carried out by Iraq’s dictator, however, this incident is completely related to the equation between the mullahs’ regime and the Iranian people. In fact, this is part of the mullahs’ repressive campaign to restrain the Iranian people’s uprising. From February 14th, 2011 when popular protests in Iran rose once again after nearly 20 months of silence, the mullahs’ fear of the PMOI and Ashraf has multiplied. Days later it was stressed in an investigative report from the regime’s parliament that the PMOI had a significant role in this uprising, and since then the plot to carry out a second massacre in Ashraf was pursued with more intensity. This was an element that more than ever made the issue increasingly urgent for the mullahs.
I must emphasize that the conditions in Ashraf is very disturbing and the threat of yet another attack on the residents is very serious. We had expressed warnings time and again that the protection of Ashraf being reassumed by the US, and the stationing of a permanent UN monitoring team in Ashraf, is a vital necessity. We had also said the Iranian regime and the government of Iraq (which is vastly under its influence) are on the verge of carrying out a humanitarian catastrophe in Ashraf. For its obligations to international laws, the US should not have transferred the protection of Ashraf to a government whose intention and aim to crack down on Ashraf was evident from Day 1. Furthermore, the US had given a commitment to each and every Ashraf resident to provide protection in return for them turning over their weapons. We are now witnessing once again that with the lack of a quick reaction from the international community, especially the UN, US and EU, a new bloodbath will be eminent in the future.
As Iranian Resistance President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi has announced, the following actions are necessary and imperative:
• Appointing a Special Representative by the UN Security Council to conduct an inquiry into the April 8th crime.
• The UN to assume protection of Ashraf, and a permanent UN monitoring team to station in the camp, with comprehensive support provided by the US and EU.
• All Iraqi repressive forces must immediately leave Ashraf’s grounds and the 28-month-long inhumane siege on the camp must be annulled.