SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Iran has conducted air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in eastern Iraq in recent days, a Pentagon spokesman says. Rear Adm John Kirby said the US, which has conducted its own air strikes in Iraq, was not co-ordinating with Iran. Without confirming the air strikes directly, a top Iranian official also dismissed talk of co-operation.
The US has said it would be inappropriate for Iran to join the coalition, even though the two long-time adversaries face a common enemy in IS. A jet filmed over Iraq by Qatari-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera has been identified by Jane’s Defence Weekly as an Iranian Phantom.
“We have indications that they did indeed fly air strikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days,” he said. It was up to Iraq to oversee and co-ordinate flights by different countries in its airspace, he added.
“We are flying missions over Iraq, we co-ordinate with the Iraqi government as we conduct those,” he said. “It’s up to the Iraqi government to de-conflict that airspace.” “Nothing has changed about our policy of not co-ordinating military activity with the Iranians.”
The Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brig-Gen Massoud Jazayeri was quoted as telling Iran’s Fars news agency it was “totally untrue” that Iran had cooperated with the coalition in bombing IS targets. He said Iran considered the US responsible for Iraq’s “unrest and problems” and that the US would “definitely not have a place in the future of that country”.