CAMP ASHRAF, Iraq, July 31 (UPI) — U.S. medical teams provided assistance to Iranian dissidents under siege by Iraqi forces in their Camp Ashraf enclave in the eastern province of Diyala.
Iraqi police earlier this week seized the Camp Ashraf base of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran using tear gas and water cannons. Authorities promised to expel the 3,500 members of the group.
The PMOI is a dissident movement opposing the clerical regime in Iran. It had received a reputation as a terrorist organization stemming from its guerrilla activity in the 1980s, though it claims it now supports peaceful methods of opposition.
Ashraf representatives through various media statements claim at least 12 residents have died during the melee, with hundreds of others injured.
Baghdad denies the claims, saying the operations are a controlled measure meant to provide stability in the enclave.
U.S. officials, while emphasizing the Ashraf raid is a matter for the government of Iraq, said they spoke with Baghdad officials to discuss security pledges for the Iranian dissidents there, gaining approval to send a medical team into the enclave.
A medical team from the U.S.-led Multinational Force-Iraq arrived at Camp Ashraf to provide medical assistance to the injured dissidents.
Medical teams provided treatment and worked to determine emergency needs in the camp. Seriously injured residents were evacuated to a U.S. military facility for further treatment.