Iran’s IRGC defends Iraqi Kurdistan against IS
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 24
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
A senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander says that, if it was not for Iran's help, the Iraqi Kurdish region would have been occupied by the Islamic State group (IS).
"General Ghasem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force himself with only 70 people prevented the IS from occupying the city of Erbil," Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported Sept. 24.
Iran supplied the Iraqi administration with military advice and organized the volunteer Iraqi fighters against the IS, Hajizadeh stressed.
The Iranian commander also criticized the U.S. air strikes against the IS, calling it "a game."
"They bombard civilian people, rather than striking the IS," he claimed.
Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected reports about the presence of Iranian military forces in Iraq.
Some Iraqi Kurdish media have underscored the significant role of Iranian forces in fighting against the IS. The media reports say Iranian forces have a decisive presence on the battlefield of the fight.
The Quds Force, the external-operations arm of the IRGC, has been involved for years in training Iraqi Shiite militias. It has also long worked with Hezbollah in Lebanon and has been reportedly helping Syrian President Bashar Assad in the fight against the opposition in that country's civil war.