YWT: "...a very sophisticated proxy war..."
HALA GORANI: Right. Those U.S. accusations that Iran is supporting Shia militia in Iraq. U.S. officials literally laid their case on the table over the weekend, displaying arms they say are proof of Iranian involvement.
Let's bring in Michael Ware for more on that and Iran's response -- Michael.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, what we saw over the weekend was U.S. officials lay out what they say is a growing body of evidence of Iranian military interference targeting U.S. and British soldiers here in Iraq. Essentially, a senior U.S. defense intelligence analyst said Iran is fighting a very sophisticated proxy war against the U.S. forces, using cutouts and surrogates.
Now, this briefing focused on what evidence U.S. military intelligence has. You peel away the smoke and you peel away the cloak and dagger, and what you're left with is evidence like this of munitions the U.S. military says are being used here to kill coalition troops that bear Iranian markings or can be traced back to Iran.
The difficulty, however, as the intelligence analyst said, there is no smoking gun. Imagine if you will CIA operatives most likely in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet Union in the '80s did not bring down Soviet helicopters themselves but were responsible for supplying the weapons that did. That's the argument the U.S. military is making now about Iran's involvement with the Shia militia.
GORANI: Michael, we've heard accusations that Iran has been involved in arming militia in Iraq before. We've heard it from the Brits, for instance.
Why is the U.S. laying its case on the table now? What should we read into the timing?
WARE: Well, it's certainly less than coincidental. I mean, the pressure is definitely ramping up. And what we're seeing here is the U.S. military, indeed, the administration, ratcheting up the rhetoric in its campaign of accusation against Iran.
I mean, it's a two-track campaign here. In the ether of the United Nations Security Council, you had the deliberations over Iran's nuclear program. Here on the ground, it's a proxy war actually being fought out between warring groups.
So there's a number of levels where this is operating. Where it will end, however, is a completely different question. There seems to be very little that the U.S. can do to counter the kind of Iranian interference that the intelligence community is mapping out.
GORANI: Okay. Michael Ware, live in Baghdad.
Thank you, Michael.