Iran’s Help for Iraq Predates Anti-ISIL Coalition: Al-Jafari
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari praised Iran for rushing to help the Arab country in its fight against the ISIL terrorist group long before the US began to forge a coalition for countering the notorious Takfiri group.
“Iran stood by Iraq before the formation of the international coalition against the ISIL,” Jafari said in an address to the international conference on ‘World Against Violence and Extremism’ (WAVE), held in Tehran on Tuesday.
Jafari stressed that Iraq and Syria should be given the assistance in the battle against the ISIL, but at the same time rejected the idea of boots on the ground in the two Arab countries.
“The help for Iraq and Syria should be confined to equipment and training,” the Iraqi diplomat added.
The ISIL militants made swift advances in northern and western Iraq over the summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
Since late September, the US and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes against the ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Meanwhile, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the popular forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, have blunted the edge of the ISIL offensive.
Amid tensions in Iraq, Iran is known as the first country to help the Arab country and has always voiced support for Iraq’s solidarity and prosperity.