US Sees Iran's Hand in Iraq Violence
June the deadliest month in two years
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2011 9:20 AM CDT
A US Army soldier and Iraqi police stand at the site of a bombing in Kirkuk, in this Aug. 25, 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Emad Matti)

(Newser) – June was the deadliest month in two years for US troops in Iraq, with 15 killed in various attacks—and the US thinks Iran is to blame. Military officials think Iran is handing militia groups more sophisticated weapons, like rockets, armor-piercing grenades, and improved jam-resistant roadside bombs, the Washington Post reports.

That marks a shift from earlier in the war, when Sunni groups like al-Qaeda in Iraq were the US’ most frequent foes. But these days, the loosely-organized Sunnis pose little threat compared to the three Shiite militias, all of which “receive at least indirect support from elements in Iran,” according to one general. In a recent interview, Robert Gates went further. Iran, he complained is “facilitating weapons, they’re facilitating training … they’re stepping this up, and it’s a concern.”