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Rudaw

Iraq

Kurdish MP: 30,000 Iranian soldiers, military experts fighting in Iraq

By Rudaw 22/3/2015
The Shiite Badr Brigade, backed by Iran, at a funeral for a dead fighter. AP photo.
The Shiite Badr Brigade, backed by Iran, at a funeral for a dead fighter. AP photo.

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan- At least 30,000 Iranian soldiers and military experts are in Iraq and involved in the fight against ISIS,  a Kurdish lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament said Sunday, calling it a “threat to Iraq’s sovereignty.”

“At least 30,000 soldiers and military experts from the Islamic Republic of Iran are fighting ISIS militants in Iraq,” Shakhawan Abdullah, head of the parliamentary security and defense committee, told Rudaw.

Shiite Iran has been actively involved in neighbor Iraq’s security issues, since ISIS overran large parts of the country with the aim of establishing a  Sunni-Islamic caliphate.

Abdulla said the formidable Iranian presence in the country is a “threat to Iraq’s sovereignty.” He explained that, “Although their presence in Iraq has been known, especially after the Tikrit operation, some of them dress up as Iraqi Shiite militants from the Hashd al-Shaabi militia.”

Iraqi Shiite militias have admitted that Iran is their main provider of weapons, ammunition and supplies for militias working with the Iraqi Army in the fight against ISIS.

Qasem Soleimani, head of the elite Iranian Quds force, is reportedly directing tens of thousands of Shiite militia fighters in battles against ISIS in the predominately-Sunni city of Tikrit. 

Abdulla criticized the Iraqi president for allowing Iranian involvement in Iraq’s war against ISIS, saying that, “according to Iraqi law, the protection of national sovereignty is the president’s constitutional duty.”

In a short video posted on YouTube earlier this month Soleimani, who has commanded immense influence in Iraq for many years, is seen giving religious advice, apparently to Iraqi Army forces and militiamen fighting for Tikrit.

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Barak Hossein | 22/3/2015
Iraq belongs to The Islamic State of Iran!
sammy | 22/3/2015
Iraq has become a ghetto. Regional rivals and international criminalize settle score on its grounds and use its people as tools. Thats what happens when you bring thugs from abroad and call them freedom fighters and install them as Ministers and MPs. Thats why the KRG did better, because our leadership is not perfect, but they stuck with us through the hardships and believed in making it a better place to live.
Muraz Adzhoev | 22/3/2015
What Iraq and what sovereignty has this Kurdish MP in Baghdad been talking and worrying about? There is no Iraq at all, but only de-facto independent Southern Kurdistan and Arab regions that Iran wants to bring and to keep under strict overwhelming control of Tehran's satellite Baghdad proxy shiite regime. Come back home Mr. MP to urge other Kurdish MPs, ministers and the president in Baghdad to follow you. There are many very urgent matters to be solved as soon as possible in Southern Kurdistan to become free and recognized Internationally.
Flaminco | 22/3/2015
Almost an entire Iranian division crossed 30 miles into Iraqi territory from Dyala province a week ago and not a single media agency reported it. 6-8 hundred thousand Iraqi shia militias and thousands of Iranian "volunteers" and now regular troops pouring into Iraq every month and Obama is rewarding Iran by 1. Sending them American arms (to Baghdad = shia militias) 2. Doing everything in his power to strike a deal with Iran on the nuclear issue that so they can lift sanctions on Iran.
AMERICA PULLING OUT | 22/3/2015
As Iran pushes heavily into Iraq,the USA is retreating from Arab Iraq.America is ,meanwhile,left witout options other than establishing a Kurdish State.
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