Iraqi Officials Claim Pledges of Support from Iran

Iranians Volunteer to Defend Shi'ite Shrines in Iraq

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.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.