The U.S. military says it has been conducting air operations against a major Iranian rebel group that has been based in Iraq for more than a decade.

Central Command spokesman General Vincent Brooks confirmed a New York Times report that American forces have been bombing bases of the Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq.

"We know that there is a presence of Mujahedin-e Khalq inside Iraq, and indeed, we have been targeting them for some time," he said. "There is work that is ongoing right now to try to secure some kind of agreement that would be a cease-fire and a capitulation."

The group has been labeled a terrorist organization by the State Department since 1997, but some members of Congress have described it as friendly, pro-democracy, anti-fundamentalist, and an effective force putting pressure on Iran.

General Brooks also said there are still pockets of lawlessness and violence in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. About 17 Iraqis have been reported killed by U.S. forces in two separate incidents in the city this week.