A British commander has revealed that in Basra, local leaders have confided that Iran is paying for bombings and attacks against the coalition in southern Iraq. Lt. Col. Justin Maciejewski, commanding officer at the British base at Basra Palace, said, "Local sheikhs and tribal leaders here in Basra - who are desperate to prevent this violence escalating - are telling us that Iranian agents are paying up to $500 a month for young Basrawi men to attack us."
Lt. Col. Maciejewski added that "We have a lot of very modern and quite sophisticated weaponry being used against us - weaponry that could only really have been procured from a state. These are not old munitions from the Iran-Iraq war. They are much more modern, some of them produced in 2006 and the locals are telling us that these are coming in from Iran."
Even so, Britain plans to drop its force level by 30% by the end of the year, abandoning the Basra Palace base altogether by the end of summer.