Camp Liberty Slammed by Series of Rocket Attacks
A series of rockets slammed an Iranian opposition camp in Baghdad killing three Iraqi soldiers and 23 Iranian exiles.
According to media reports, more than a dozen rockets hit Camp Liberty also known as Camp Hurriya, a former US base that houses the exiled Iranian opposition group known as the Mujahedin of Iran (MEK).
The deadly attacks also injured Iraqi soldiers that guarded the camp as well the Iranian refugees.
As of today, no one claimed responsibility for the attack.
Who Are the Members of Mujahedin of Iran?
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein welcomed the Iranian opposition exiles in the 1980s during the war with Iran.
However, Iraq’s current Shiite-led Iraqi government which has connections with Tehran, is reluctant to welcome the Iranian refugees.
The residents of Camp Liberty made headlines around the world for their reports against the Iraqi government for cases of prevailing gross human rights violations, worsening health conditions, and limited access to aid.
According to the UN, more than 3,000 MEK members were living at the former U.S. base near Baghdad. Now there are only around 2,200.
US Condemns the Attack On Camp Liberty
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States strongly condemns the deadly terrorist attack on Camp Hurriya that killed and injured camp residents.
“Our condolences go out to the families of the victims, and we hope for the swift recovery of those injured.” – Secretary Kerry
Secretary Kerry underlined the US efforts to respond to the attack by coordinating with senior Iraqi officials to ensure that the Government of Iraq renders all possible medical and emergency assistance to the victims.
In addition, Secretary Kerry urged the Government of Iraq to provide additional security for the camp’s residents.
Secretary Kerry also stressed the need to look for the perpetrators and hold them accountable for the attack.
“We are consulting with the Government of Iraq to ascertain the full extent of this unprovoked attack.” – Secretary Kerry
MEK: from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty
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 at Camp Liberty.
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. The residents accused the Government of Iraq of stealing their equipment and many of their vehicles.
Situated in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, Camp Ashraf housed the group. 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.
Camp Ashraf was resident to 3,400 members of the PMOI, main opposition and threat to the Iranian mullahs. The Camp has been attacked by Iraq’s Maliki forces on several occasions. The previous attack led to a bloodbath; 33 killed by direct precision shooting and US Humvees ramming residents, 325 wounded and 6 taken as hostages by Iraqi thugs.
The group was betrayed by the UN’s Martin Kobler who gave false information about their safety. The UN appears to have abandoned the residents, and so has the US Administration.
See Also: Heavy Missile Barrage of Camp Liberty In Iraq: 23 Defenceless PMOI Killed, for more details.