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article imageIran launches attack on unarmed dissidents in Iraq, many killed Special

By Brian Booker     Oct 29, 2015 in World
Baghdad - The Iranian government has allegedly attacked a camp occupied by the unarmed Iranian dissident group, the Mujahideen-e Khalq. Evidence of Iranian made rockets have been found.
Camp Liberty, which is home to roughly 2,400 Iranian dissidents, was hit by a barrage of missiles at 7:40 p.m. (local time).
So far, 23 people, including one woman, have reportedly been killed. Electricity has been cut off to the camp, making it difficult for residents to assist the wounded and to assess the total damage. Many trailers within the camp are reportedly still on fire.
Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, denounced the attack, stating:
“From an official and legal standpoint, the Iraqi Government and the United Nations, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding, creating something dubbed as Temporary Transit Location (T.T.L) must answer for this attack. From our perspective, however, similar to previous bloodbaths at Ashraf and Liberty, the Iranian regime’s agents within the Iraqi Government are responsible for the latest assault. The United States and the United Nations are fully aware of this reality.”
Members of the Mujahideen-e Khalq live in an isolated section of Camp Liberty, a former American military base that is now occupied by the Iraqi military. The section occupied by the MEK more closely resembles a prison than a proper camp with the movements of camp residents being heavily restricted and monitored.
While the damage is still being assessed, residents have found evidence that 122 m Katyusha rockets and Iranian Falagh missiles were among the rockets used to strike the camp. This suggests that Iran, or forces aligned with Iran, were responsible for the attack. With Iraq's shia controlled government increasingly falling under the control of the Iranian government, the MEK is facing grave risks.
In the years following the Iranian Revolution and downfall of the Shah, MEK was the principal opposition to the rising Iranian clerics. After the clerics seized control of the government, they launched a massive crackdown on the MEK, with as many as 120,000 people associated with the movement killed by the Iranian government.
Following the crackdown, the MEK was forced into exile, with several thousand members ending up at Camp Ashraf, a military base north of Baghdad. Once an armed resistance group, the MEK renounced violence in 2001, and disarmed completely after the U.S. invaded Iraq.
In 2011, the MEK residents at Camp Ashraf moved to Camp Liberty, a dilapidated military base abandoned by the U.S. As part of the agreement to move, the American government promised the MEK protection. When the United States withdrew from Iraq, however, it handed over security of Camp Liberty to the Iraqi government.
Now, the MEK residents at Camp Liberty lack any ability to defend themselves, and their security depends completely on the whims of the Iraqi government. With Iran's influence in Iraq growing due to the dominance of shia Islam in both countries, and the instability created by the rise of the sunni Islamic State, this leaves them in a precarious position.
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