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Iran general says ready to help Iraq against militants

Published on Jun 29, 2014 4:41 PM
 
Members of Kurdish security forces take their positions during an intensive security deployment and a patrol looking for militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), on the outskirts of Mosul on June 22, 2014. Iran is ready to help Iraq fight an armed revolt using the same methods it deployed against opposition forces in Syria, an Iranian general said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran is ready to help Iraq fight an armed revolt using the same methods it deployed against opposition forces in Syria, an Iranian general said, suggesting Tehran is offering to take a larger role in battling Sunni militias threatening Baghdad.

Iranian leaders to date have said they would help defend Shiite Muslim shrines in neighbouring Iraq if necessary, but have also said Iraqis are capable of doing that job themselves. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei on June 22 also said he rejected intervention in Iraq by Washington or any other outside power against Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militia.

ISIS has seized a broad swathe of territory in northern and western Iraq in recent weeks in their quest to topple the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite backed by Iran, and to set up an Islamic caliphate.

Brigadier-General Massoud Jazayeri, deputy joint chief of staff of the armed forces and a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer, told Iran's al Alam television that Iran's response to the militias would be "certain and serious". His remarks late on Saturday did not provide details on the assistance Iran could give Baghdad, beyond saying Iran could help with what he called popular defence and intelligence.

 
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