Iraq: Camp Liberty Residents Protest the Missile Attack

Hundreds of Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty, in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport, held a rally on Monday November 2nd, 2015. Holding photographs of 23 victims of Oct 29th missile attack to their camp of residence, they protested the U.S. and UN inaction in face of all previous warnings regarding risks of possible attack and massacre by Iran’s Quds force against the residents. The participants in this rally demanded urgent measures for medical treatment of wounded and immediate reconstruction of damaged areas and trailer house units that were destroyed.

This was the fourth and the most severe mass destruction missile attack against the Camp Liberty during the past three years, carried out by that Iran regime and its affiliated terrorist elements in Iraq.

Effects Of The Criminal Attack

Iraq, U.S., UN responsible for residents
Iraq, U.S., UN responsible for residents’ security.

Due to this criminal attack, the electricity and all communications of the camp were cut off and large sections of the camp and a great number of trailer house units caught fire. The explosions were so powerful that many trailers were reduced to rubble and a number of the T-walls either fell or broke down. The explosions made craters of 4, 5, 6 or 7 meters in diameter in various places in the camp. 357 trailers, 10 dining halls, a number of water, fuel and sewage tanks, parts of water distribution network, generators and the electric grid, vehicles, and furniture and home appliances were either completely destroyed or rendered useless. The extent of damage is estimated at $10 million. The scope of damage demonstrates the latitude of Tehran’s apprehensions from camp residents.

The residents’ representatives, as well as many parliamentarians and prominent international figures, repeatedly warned the United States and the United Nations, in the past two months about the Iranian regime’s intent to stage another massacre. However, no preventive measures were taken.

Mohsen, one of the participants in the rally, said: “after this bloody assault to the camp, we have lost most of our trailers, our only shelters, and in this winter and rainy season there is no proper lodging for residents. The U.S. and UN must act quickly for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the camp.”

Hundreds of Camp Liberty residents protest missile attack near damaged buildings.
Hundreds of Camp Liberty residents protest missile attack near damaged buildings.

Mehdi, another participant in the rally said: “To contain its domestic and international crisis, aftermath to JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], Mullahs’ regime added to the volume of executions in Tehran and other cities and arrest of families of Camp Liberty residents inside Iran. By firing 80 reinforced missiles into a Camp that supposedly is under international protection and U.S. and UN monitoring, it is seeking an escape hole from its deadlocks.”

Attack Resulted From U.S., UN Abandoning Obligation

Despite the denunciations made by Mr. John Kerry and Mr. Ban (UNSG) and many other world leaders, the residents in this camp believe that this attack is the result of the United Nations, and the US administration abandoning their obligations towards the Camp Liberty residents for their protection and security.

Camp Liberty residents walk their protest through the destroyed buildings after the missile attack.
Camp Liberty residents take their protest through the destroyed buildings after the missile attack.

Iraq Allows Iranian Agents Into Camp Liberty

Mohamad a younger resident in this camp disputes the ban on arrival of the media to cover the attack directly. He says: “While the Iraqis are not allowing the reporters and even our lawyers to come into the camp, we witness that Iranian intelligence forces under the guise of families freely come to the camp with full cooperation of Iraqi officials who supposedly are responsible for our protection. We had relentlessly warned the UNAMI and its monitoring teams inside the camp about the presence of these so called families. Had they taken our warnings seriously, today we would not have to suffer and see our friends killed and losses in the coward missile attack.

Camp Liberty residents hold photos of those killed in missile attack.
Camp Liberty residents hold photos of those killed in missile attack.

US and UN Accountable for Inhumane Attacks and Sieges

The protesters’ final statement emphasizes that the Iraqi government is lawfully responsible for the safety and security of the residents. However, they are assured that as long as this camp is under the control of those Iraqis loyal to the mullahs in Tehran, like Faleh Fayyaz the national security advisor of Maliki still on post, not only the MOU has no chance of revival, but daily harassment, logistic, medical and even food and fuel sieges will persist.

According to the latest NCRI statement in Paris, after the missile attack, Faleh Fayyaz has put more restrictions on arrival of food and other basic materials in the camp. Camp Liberty walk sends this message: “We take the US and the UN as accountable for these inhumane attacks and sieges.”

Camp Liberty residents protest the missile attack.
Camp Liberty residents protest the missile attack.
Shahriar Kia

Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition (PMOI /MEK). He is a human rights activist and political analyst on Iran and the Middle East.