Though the reports have not been corroborated by Iran yet, Iraqi officials claim to have been given assurances from the “highest levels of the Iranian government” of unconditional support during the ongoing war with ISIS.
Iran is believed to have about 150 Quds Force fighters in Iraq now, and the Quds Force commander is leading the defense of Baghdad, though Iranian officials have been tight-lipped about what further support they may offer.
It is possible Iraqi officials are hyping the Iranian aid in their ongoing quest to secure more aid from the US government, trying to convince them to get into a “bidding war” to save them from an ISIS takeover.
Still, the sectarian nature of the war has some Iranians stepping up to volunteer involvement, and reports say as many as 5,000 have volunteered to go to Iraq to defend Shi’ite shrines from ISIS encroachment. Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has been recruiting Shi’ite volunteers for similar tasks, though it is unclear if they will use foreign volunteers.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Ex-CIA Chief: US Meddles in Foreign Elections, But 'Only for a Very Good Cause' - February 18th, 2018
- Amid Worsening Tensions, Western Diplomats See Russia as 'Indispensable Partner' - February 18th, 2018
- Turkey: Chemical Weapons Use Allegations 'Baseless' - February 18th, 2018
- US Pushes Europe to Commit to Changing Iran Nuclear Deal - February 18th, 2018
- South Korean President Says Olympics Have Lowered Tensions With North - February 18th, 2018