IRGC Quds force head Qassem Soleimani
IRGC Quds force head Qassem SoleimaniReuters

Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) tasked with Iran's foreign operations, on Monday claimed the US had let Islamic State (ISIS) capture the strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi on purpose last Sunday.

In remarks to the Iranian paper Javan which is close to the IRGC, Soleimani said the US didn't do a "damned thing" to stop ISIS's conquest, reports the Associated Press.

"Does it mean anything else than being an accomplice in the plot?," Soleimani asked, airing a conspiracy theory according to which the US was somehow coordinating with the ISIS terror group it is currently fighting against.

Soleimani has been leading Iran's efforts to gain influence in Iraq by supporting and training Shi'ite militias and Iraqi army forces in the fight against ISIS.

In March, former CIA head General David Petraeus warned that Iran is a greater danger than ISIS in Iraq, noting Soleimani's public and active role in guiding the troops after previously being a highly secretive figure who worked from the shadows.

ISIS conquered Ramadi, which is the capital of Anbar, the largest Iraqi province, after an intense three-day blitz.

US President Barack Obama responded to the significant setback by claiming "I don't think we're losing" the war against ISIS.

The loss has led to something of a fallout however, with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter saying of the defeat that the "Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force."