The US military has launched a secret task force to break up
Iranian influence in Iraq, The US News and World Report
The special operation mission, known as Task Force 16, was
created late 2006 to target Iranians, who were trafficking arms and
training Iraqi militia forces, the magazine reported on its
The operation is modeled on Task Force 15, a clandestine unit of
Navy SEALs, Army Delta Force soldiers, and CIA operatives with a
mission to capture or kill al-Qaida operatives in Iraq.
It is the Task Force 15 that killed al-Qaida's leader in Iraq,
Abu Musab Zarqawi, last June.
The new Task Force 16 is part of an escalation of military
countermeasures against Iran, authorized by US President George W.
Bush, to strike back at what US officials describe as a "widespread
web of Iranian influence in Iraq" that includes providing weapons,
training, and money to militias.
However, some US officials also said that in addition to
military measures, the United States needs to pursue diplomatic
tracks and emphasizes the importance of trying to open a dialogue
(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2007)