The commander of the Multinational Force in Iraq, General David Petraeus, says that "exceedingly unhelpful activities by Iran and Syria, especially those by Iran. . . .compound the enormous problems facing the new Iraq."
At a press briefing at the Pentagon, General Petraeus said that new evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq emerged after leaders of an Iraqi terrorist cell known as the Qazali network were apprehended:
"They were provided with substantial funding, training on Iranian soil, advanced explosive munitions and technologies. . . .in some cases advice and in some cases even a degree of direction."
General Petraeus said that when members of the Qazali network were captured, a computer was found containing a document which detailed "the planning, preparation, approval process and conduct of the operation that resulted in five of our [U.S.] soldiers being killed in Karbala:"
"There are numerous documents which detailed a number of different attacks on coalition forces, and our sense is that these records were kept so that they could be handed in to whoever it is that is financing them. And there's no question, again, that Iranian financing is taking place through the Qods force of the Iranian Republican Guards Corps."
General Petraeus said the U.S. learned more about Iran's involvement in Iraq through the capture of one of the heads of the so-called Sheibani network. That is a group, said General Petraeus, which "brings explosively formed projectiles into Iraq from Iran":
"Those munitions, as you know, have been particularly lethal against some of our armored vehicles and responsible for some of the casualties, the more tragic casualties in attacks on our vehicles."
General David Petraeus says that "today, members of al-Qaeda, extremist militias, and Sunni insurgent groups seek to destroy what Iraqi leaders are trying to build." .