Iran to spare no effort to protect holy cities in Iraq, Rouhani says

Photo: Iran to spare no effort to protect holy cities in Iraq, Rouhani says / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 18

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran will spare no effort to protect Shiite holy places in Iraq.

"Iranian people demand the administration to go to Iraq to fight against the terrorists," Rouhani said, Iran's state IRINN TV reported on June 18.

Rouhani went on to add that the Iraqi people themselves will completely contain the terrorists.

Iraqis will defeat terrorists as well as their regional and international supporters, the Iranian president stressed.

Shiite holy places in Iraqi Karbala, Kadhimayn, Najaf, and Samarra, contain the tombs of six Shia imams, serving also as holy sites for pilgrimage.

Tension in Iraq increased after the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which developed into a formidable force inside Syria extended its reach into Iraq since June 10, gaining near-complete control of the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit and seizing Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

The group seized large swathes of western Iraq's Anbar Province in January, including much of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, flashpoints of the U.S.-led war in 2003.

Following the recent developments Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari said on June 15 that the Iran's armed forces are completely prepared to take military actions against the ISIL, if the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei orders.

The army has intensified its presence along the country's borders with Iraq, the commander underlined.

On June 14, Rouhani said that the country is ready to assist Iraq in the fight against "terrorists" within international law if Iraq wants it.

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