I spoke yesterday with Major General Michael Barbero, Deputy Director for Operations at the Joint Chiefs, about conditions in Iraq. I asked specifically about the Quds Force:
HH: Do you continue to see the Quds forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard operating in Iraq?
MB: They have been operating in Iraq. I do not have any recent intelligence on their recent activities.
HH: How big of a deployment do they have there, General?
MB: Probably can’t discuss the numbers, but they have been active. We’re convinced that they’ve been participating in the training and equipping of some of the Shia extremist groups, and rather than talk about specific enemies, you know, we will conduct deliberate operations against any forces or individuals who attack our forces.
HH: General, can the Quds forces, though, deploy and operate without the knowledge and approval of the highest levels of the Iranian government?
MB: The Quds force are an arm of the Iranian government. Their mission is to export the revolution. It would be hard to believe that there are any free agents from the Iranian forces operating inside Iraq.