Iraqi FM: General Soleimani in Iraq at Baghdad’s request

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani is helping the Arab country’s forces in the fight against the Takfiri Daesh (ISIL) terrorists at the request of the Baghdad government.

At a press conference on Monday, al-Jaafari referred to the presence of Iranian military advisers, particularly Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Major General Soleimani, in Iraq and said they are in the Arab country “with the full knowledge of the Iraqi government”.

He added, “Baghdad is fighting a war on behalf of the countries of the world against Daesh,” Iraqi media reported.

The Iraqi foreign minister further said the reason behind the army’s slow pace in recapturing the city of Fallujah  from the clutches of Daesh is due to the government’s concern for lives of the civilians fleeing the Takfiri group in the area.

His comments came after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir recently accused Iran of military presence in Iraq and of interfering in the internal affairs of other regional countries.

In reaction, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari rejected the allegations, stressing that Iran’s advisory mission in Iraq is underway at the request of Baghdad.

“In order to recognize its own interests, friends and enemies, the Iraqi nation does not need statements by the foreign minister of a country that has been the biggest factor of instability and a sponsor of terrorism in Iraq, the region and the world in the past decade and a half,” Jaberi Ansari said in May.

“The presence of Iran’s military advisors under the command of Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq comes at the request of the legitimate government of Iraq for confronting the terrorists and extremists causing instability and insecurity in the Arab country and the region,” the spokesman added.

Jabei Ansari further called on the Saudi foreign minister to stop trying to deceive public opinion and distort facts, saying he should remember that his country is now known as the number one and most dangerous sponsor of terrorism in the world.

By Tasnim News Agency