For Immediate Release 5th July 2016
IRAQ: SHOCKING MISSILE ATTACK ON IRANIAN REFUGEE CAMP CONDEMNED
Four Urgent calls on UN and US
In yet another outrageous and unprovoked attack on the defenseless Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty, near Baghdad Airport, over 50 missiles were fired last night into the compound from within the tight government-controlled security zone surrounding the camp’s perimeter. Over 50 residents, including 14 women, were seriously injured and large parts of the camp were destroyed.
Struan Stevenson, president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) has strongly condemned the attack and demanded immediate action by the UN and US to safeguard the residents and expedite their resettlement in European countries. Struan Stevenson said: “This was a horrendous and cowardly attack. But I am forced to ask, what on earth are the United Nations and United States doing? While they had repeatedly given assurances regarding the safety and security of the residents in writing, they kept their silence and did nothing while Iranian agents, with the full connivance of the Iraqi government, undertook repeated surveillance missions to the camp, under the pretext of being family members of the refugees, while in fact they hurled abuse at the residents and took detailed photographs of the camp’s layout.
We repeatedly warned that this was a clear precursor to another missile attack, as we have witnessed this happening again and again in the past when dozens of Camp Ashraf and then Camp Liberty residents have been brutally murdered. Despite our warnings the UN and US did nothing.
“For the past 8 days food, fuel and medicines have been blockaded by the Iraqi government’s agents again acting on orders from their Iranian sponsors. This blockade has caused untold suffering to the residents during RAMADAN while temperatures have soared to over 50 degrees and they have no fresh food, or any means of fueling generators to provide air-conditioning and no vital medicines for the sick. The residents and their representatives and supporters had repeatedly warned that all of these measures were leading up to another attempted massacre. This is a pattern that has been repeated again and again and our warnings to the UN and US have simply been ignored. Their ineffectiveness and incompetence has been quite breathtaking.
“And now that 50 missiles have been launched into the camp causing horrifying injuries and destruction, we all know that the missile attack could not have happened without the active collusion of at least some parts of the Iraqi government and their Iranian patrons.
“The EIFA demands the immediate intervention of the UN and the US embassy in Baghdad, firstly to hold the perpetrators of this crime accountable and bring them in to justice and secondly to guarantee the safety and security of the camp until the last person can be airlifted to safety. Thirdly the UN and US must immediately demand that the Iraqi Government stops any further suppressive measures against the camp’s residents, in particular preventing the entry of fuel, food, medicine and service trucks to the camp. Fourthly, the Government of Iraq must be prevented from allowing Iranian Intelligence (MOIS) agents, under any pretext whatsoever, from mounting further reconnaissance and surveillance missions at Camp Liberty”.
Note: Struan Stevenson is President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). He was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2014 and was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014.