Air force commander: Iran first country to aid Iraq in combat against ISIL

FNA – Iraqi Air Force Commander General Hamid al-Maliki underlined that Iran was the first country which helped Iraq in the war on the ISIL terrorist group, criticizing the US for its delay in sending military aid.

“Iran was the first country which supported us immediately with weapons and equipment and without receiving anything from us,” General al-Maliki was quoted as saying by al-Ayyam news channel on Tuesday.

He also blasted the US for supplying Iraq with F-16 fighter jets too late and in the final days of combat against the ISIL, adding that the joint operations room of Baghdad, Tehran and Moscow changed the equations in the war against ISIL.

Also, retired General Wafiq al-Samarayi, the military advisor to former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, wrote on his facebook page on Tuesday that “the Islamic Republic of Iran was the first country which rushed to supply his country with warplanes that later bombed the ISIL after the terrorist group occupied a large area of the Iraqi territories”.

He added that the Iraqi Air Force did not have even one fighter jet and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of the forces commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Shaabi, contacted Iran and made necessary coordination for the immediate dispatch of 4 to 5 Sukhoi fighters to Iraq, noting that the first airstrikes were launched in Northern Samara.

“Therefore, it is not true that the first fighter jets sent to Iraq were from Russia,” al-Samarayi said.

Iran has assisted Iraq and Syria in fighting against the terrorist groups by sending military advisors and aide.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani  said in March 2016 that Takfiri terrorism threatened all Muslims, and Iran had waged war on those terrorists that traded enslaved women and children.

“The fire of Takfiri and Takfirism has engulfed in homes of our Sunni brothers. Those behind this are under the illusion that they can bring Shiism and the Islamic Republic to their knees. More than anywhere else, Takfiri groups have targeted the sanctity of humanity and the Sunni world,” General Soleimani said, addressing a ceremony in Tehran.

General Soleimani then asked those behind the smear campaign to question Iran’s policy in its ongoing war on terror, “Is it adventurism if the Islamic Republic makes sacrifices to defend Muslims? Is it wrong for the Islamic Republic to battle a group that in just one region is buying and selling some 20,000 unfortunate enslaved young women? Is it wrong for the Islamic Republic to stand against the anti-Muslim current and stop the demolition of Mosques and Muslim holy sites?”