A deadly rocket and mortar attack has killed six Iranian dissidents and wounded scores of people in Camp Hurriya, Iraq.
Reports say the attack occurred at Camp Hurriy Saturday morning at a onetime U.S. base formerly known as Camp Liberty, which is now the home of the Iranian exile group Mujahedin-e-Khalq.
In her press statement in Washington DC, US Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the United States condemns in the strongest terms the vicious and senseless terrorist attack that took place at Camp Hurriya.
“We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and hope for the swift recovery of those who were injured.” – Ms. Nuland
Ms. Nuland says the Government of Iraq has undertaken to promptly investigate the attack.
The US calls for an earnest and promp investigation and to take all appropriate measures to enhance the security of the camp consistent with its commitment and obligation to the safety and security of the camp’s residents.
The terrorists responsible for this attack must be brought to justice, she also added.
She notes the US government is consulting with the Government of Iraq and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on the circumstances surrounding this tragedy, and we remain committed to assisting the Government of Iraq and UNAMI in their efforts to implement the December 25, 2011 agreement.
Camp Ashraf residents relocated to Camp Hurriya
In August 2012, the sixth convoy of approximately 400 Ashraf residents arrived safely in Camp Hurriya, a new location prior to their eventual resettlement in third countries;
Reports say three-fourths of the residents, 2,400 persons have now arrived in Camp Hurriya.
Prior to transfer, close to 1,300 individuals were still awaiting relocation from Camp Ashraf to the transit centre.
In July 15, the Iraqi government has transported from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya a cargo convoy of 300 additional air conditioners, several large water tanks, additional generators, and other goods to improve the residents’ quality of life at Camp Hurriya.
In July 19, the Iraqi Government transported to Camp Hurriya three specially-equipped vehicles for residents with disabilities.
The Mujahedin-e Khalq’s (MEK’s) cooperation in the closure of Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s main paramilitary base, continues to be a key factor in the Department’s upcoming determination regarding the MEK’s Foreign Terrorist Organization status.
US Response to Camp Ashraf Issue
In May 2012, the United States of America addressed the challenges in the relocation of Camp Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty.
In his remarks in Washington DC, Special Advisor on Ashraf, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ambassador Daniel Fried said the process of relocating residents to Hurriya has had challenges.
He cited that each convoy, carrying approximately 400 Ashraf residents, their personal effects, and large quantities of cargo to Hurriya, has been a significant logistical undertaking.
The Iraqi government has provided dozens of coach buses and cargo trucks and literally thousands of Iraqi security forces to provide for the convoy’s security on the road, he stated.
According to Mr. Fried, accompanying each convoy are UN human rights monitors, who also observe the screening of residents and property as each convoy loads from Camp Ashraf and provide useful, neutral reports following each convoy movement.
In addition, Mr. Fried said living conditions at Camp Hurriya have also had their challenges.
Camp Hurriya, when under U.S. control, was part of the largest coalition base in Iraq, housing thousands of American and coalition forces during military operations in Iraq.
The containerized housing units (CHUs), which the former Ashraf residents now occupy, previously housed US service personnel, he noted.
UNAMI, with active U.S. support, is working at high-levels with the Iraqi government to ensure the welfare of the residents is not compromised and to resolve issues that arise.
In February 2012, nearly 400 residents of Camp Ashraf arrived safely at Camp Hurriya.
In December 2011, the Residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq have declared readiness for relocation of the first group of Camp Ashraf residents. They were moving from Camp Ashraf, to Camp Liberty with their vehicles and moveable belongings.
Situated in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, Camp Ashraf housed members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran. The Iraqi Government has repeatedly stated its intention to close down the camp by 31 December and to transfer residents to another location until countries willing to accept them for resettlement are found.
The important agreement stipulates on providing temporary relocation and eventual resettlement of the more than 3,000 residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
Camp Ashraf is resident to 3400 members of the PMOI, main opposition and threat to Iranian mullahs. The Camp has been attacked by the Maliki forces on several occasions. The last attack led to a bloodbath; 33 killed of direct precision shooting and US Humvees ramming residents, 325 wounded and 6 taken as hostages by Iraqi thugs.