Within 45 days of the first HS50 Steyr Mannlicher rifles arriving in Iran, an American officer in an armoured vehicle was shot dead by an Iraqi insurgent using the weapon.
Over the last six months American forces have found small caches of the £10,000 rifles but in the last 24 hours a raid in Baghdad brought the total to more than 100, US defence sources reported.
The find is the latest in a series of discoveries that indicate that Teheran is providing support to Iraq's Shia insurgents.
Also, our good friend Muqtada al-Sadr appears to have fled Iraq and landed in Tehran.
The chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq insisted Wednesday that Muqtada al-Sadr has left the country and is believed to be in Iran, despite denials from the radical Shiite cleric's supporters.
The statement by Maj. Gen. William Caldwell came after a U.S. official said al-Sadr left the country some weeks ago and is believed to be in Tehran, where he has family.
The official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. monitoring activities, said fractures in al-Sadr's political and militia operations may be part of the reason for his departure. The move is not believed to be permanent, the official said.
This is actually the best possible outcome. If we killed him, he would have been a martyr. Letting him continue as he was was not a good option. Having him flee like a coward eliminates him as an immediate threat and blunts his influence at least marginally. It is also very clarifying to see who took him in and supports him.
Congratulations General Petraeus. It seems like you plan is right on target so far. Pelosi and company better hurry and condemn it before you have even more success.