US Confirms Iran Fighting ISIS in Iraq

A US official has confirmed that Iran is taking part in attacks against the ISIS terror group, amid speculation of military cooperation.

Tags: ISIS Iran Iraq
Yaakov Levi ,

Flames of War trailer
Flames of War trailer

A US official has confirmed that Iran is taking part in attacks against the ISIS terror group that has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria., the Huffington Post reported Tuesday. According to the report, Iranian planes have been bombing ISIS positions in Iraq.

Iran's attacks on ISIS are apparently being done with at least the consent of the United States.

"We are aware of that. I wouldn't say we're necessarily concerned with it - we kind of have our eyes on it," the web site quoted the official as saying. One reason for that, the official said, was that Iran was bombing ISIS targets near its own border, away from where the US and its coalition partners were operating.

The comments, according to the web site, confirmed earlier reports that Iranian planes had been seen in the skies over Iraq. The planes were seen in footage broadcast by Al-Jazeera last week. According to the reports, Iran has been actively engaging ISIS since at least the summer.

The report also comes amid speculation of US military cooperation with the Islamic regime, after US Secretary of State John Kerry backtracked and said the US couldn't rule out cooperation, and US President Barack Obama secretly wrote to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in mid-October urging him to join the US coalition against ISIS.

It's unlikely Iran would be able to operate in Iraq without the US being aware of it, given the large American deployment in the country, the official said.

"We are there pretty heavily in the air if you include [intelligence collection], so just looking at those facts we have a pretty good picture of what's happening in Iraqi airspace. We would not be operating in Iraq without having a clear picture,” the Huffington Post report said.

Last week, Muslim clerics of both the Shi'ite and Sunni sects from about 80 countries gathered in Qom, Iran in order to work on a strategy to combat extremists, including ISIS. As a Shi'ite state, the US official said, Iran felt threatened by the radical Sunni group, and could be expected to continue its campaign as long as that threat persisted.