Iran, Syria Stepping Up Involvement in Iraq

US: Iran Operating Surveillance Drones Out of Baghdad

As ISIS expands its control over a large portion of the Iraq-Syria frontier, both Syria and Iran are increasing their involvement in the fighting across the border, aiming to aid the floundering Maliki government.

Syria’s airstrikes yesterday in Iraq’s Anbar Province were just an inaccurate as their airstrikes against ISIS in Syria itself, and left at least 57 civilians dead and over 120 others wounded.

Iran is being a little more careful with its involvement, sending supplies and some troops to aid with the defense of Baghdad. Their major involvement, according to US officials, is the dispatch of Iranian surveillance drones to the country, which they are operating out of an airfield in Baghdad.

Iran has been aiding Syria in its fight against ISIS for years, and as ISIS gets closer and closer to their border, there is a palpable fear of the violence spreading further. Three Iranian border patrolmen were shot dead along the Iraq border today.

Secretary of State John Kerry expressed concern about Iran’s involvement, warning it “might exacerbate the sectarian divisions” in the country.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.