| 02.11,15. 07:54 AM |
Iraqi government and the UN must account for the attack on Camp Liberty
The deadliest attack on Camp Liberty
US Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement condemning the recent missile attack on Camp Liberty on the outskirt of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. 80 fatal rockets were launched at camp On Thursday October 29th around 19; 40 local time. 23 people were killed in the attack while parts of the camp were completely destroyed. The rockets used in the attack were named Falagh which are produced by Iran. In his statement Mr. Kerry urged the Iraqi government to ensure full medical treatment to the injured. 'We also urge the Government of Iraq to provide additional security for the camp’s residents and to find the perpetrators and hold them accountable for the attack, consistent with its obligations under the December 25, 2011 agreement with the United Nations,' he added.
Almost three and a half years ago members of the People’s mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), encouraged by United Nations and US government, were displaced from their former home Camp Ashraf to the present Camp Liberty. Despite all the promises, but soon the Iraqi government of former Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki turned the camp into a prison for them cutting their relations with the outside world. Residents of the camp suffered a long time under the medical and logistics siege imposed on them by the remnants of Maliki. Residents’ frequent calls, complaints and emails to UN and US officials including the Secretary of State Mr. Kerry were encountered with total silence. Iraqi intelligence officers- loyal to Maliki- continued depriving residents from simplest logistic material. This made the camp residents defenseless against any disaster such as an attack like this one.
Three previous rocket attacks on the camp which resulted to the death of 14 residents and injuring tens on them proved that residents are defenseless against further attacks. Nevertheless no security measures were introduced into the safety of the camp’s residents. “The United States strongly condemns today’s brutal, senseless terrorist attack on Camp Hurriya that killed and injured camp residents,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, using the camp’s Arabic name.
Meanwhile some present and former state officials in different countries have separately called for awarding assistance to the residents in Camp liberty. British MP, David Jones has strongly condemned the deadly missile attack on Camp Liberty. He said international community should rally to the aid of the residents of Camp Liberty. Former US Energy Secretary, Bill Richardson has urged the US government to condemn this terrorist act and to see that such acts would be prevented in future. Frances Townsend, former white house former Homeland Security Advisor to United States President George W. Bush said the US must condemn and use Leverage to stop this heinous crime against defenseless civilians in future. Amnesty International has called for urgent protection and assistance for the camp’s residents.
US representative Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the attack “deeply troubling” and a test for the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad,. He emphasized, “With growing Iranian involvement in Iraq, the security situation around Camp Liberty is increasingly risky. The Iraqi Government made an international commitment to protect the Camp’s residents. The U.S. and international community must demand accountability.”
Representative Ted Poe, of Texas, warned, “Camp Liberty has been attacked several times before with no action from our State Department. Secretary Kerry has promised we are doing all we can. But those empty promises have delivered nothing, and more people are dead today. Our government must recognize that we have failed to protect the Camp as we have promised to do”. Representative Poe added, “It is time to expedite their safe removal from Iraq to other countries. Perhaps the Administration should spend less time trying to appease Iran and more time working to ensure the safety and security of the Iranian freedom fighters residing in Camp Liberty.”
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee wrote,” this brutal and unprovoked attack represents a failure by the Iraqi government to honor its obligations to protect the residents at Liberty and must be condemned”.
The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogheroni has called the Thursday attack against the unarmed residents of the camp the greatest breach of Camp Liberty’s security since October 2013.
Maryam Rajavi, president elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), reminded on Thursday that the Iraqi government and the United Nations in 2011 signed a “memorandum of understanding” to ensure the protection of MEK members and that both “must account for this attack.” Mrs. Rajavi also said that “the Iranian regime’s agents within the Iraqi government are responsible for the latest assault.”
Whether Secretary Kerry will bring up the attack in his future talks with Iranian regime’s foreign minister Javad Zarif today is not yet known.
Keyvan Salami , human right activist writing for peace and progress in the Middle East and regime change in Iran. He Tweets at @SalamiKeyvan