Iran is bombing ISIS in Iraq, Pentagon claims

A strike against ISIL in Kobani, on the Turkey-Syria border

Iran has carried out airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant targets in recent days, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, adding that the raids were not coordinated with U.S. forces.

“We have indications that they did indeed fly air strikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told Agence France-Presse.

The remarks came as Iranian forces have reportedly been active on the ground in Iraq in recent months, supporting Shiite militia and Baghdad government units in their fight against ISIS.

According to AFP, Iran also has provided Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft to Iraq amid widespread speculation that the planes are flown by Iranian pilots.

This, however, was the first time the U.S. had confirmed the Iranians were conducting air strikes against ISIS militants.

In further comments, Kirby said it was up to the Iraqi government to oversee and coordinate military flights by different countries and not U.S. commanders.

“We are flying missions over Iraq. We coordinate with the Iraqi government as we conduct those. It’s up to the Iraqi government to deconflict that air space,” Kirby told reporters.

“Nothing has changed about our policy of not coordinating military activity with the Iranians.”

U.S. fighters, bombers and surveillance aircraft fly daily missions over Iraq along with other coalition warplanes from European governments as well as Australia and Canada.

The U.S.-led air campaign against the ISIS group began on August 8 in Iraq and was extended into Syria in September.

By AFP

 

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