Top military officials in Tehran strongly rejected western media reports alleging that Iranian fighter bombers have struck ISIL positions in Iraq in coordination with the US.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Massoud Jazayeri on Tuesday dismissed as totally untrue the western media reports quoting US defense officials as saying that Iranian warplanes have bombed ISIL positions in Iraq in cooperation or coordination with the US-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS and IS).
“The Islamic Republic of Iran blames the United States as the root cause of unrests and problems as well as the terrorist actions of ISIL in Iraq,” Gen. Jazayeri told FNA.
The General complained that the infrastructures, cities and villages of both Iraq and Syria have been destroyed and their people have been massacred by ISIL as a direct result of the plots and supports rendered to the terrorist group by the US and a number of regional states.
Reiterating that Iran has no cooperation with any troops or coalition which is run by the US, the Number two man of the Iranian Armed Forces said, “Now the Iraqi nation along with its government, army and volunteer forces are in war with aliens and terrorists in a vast front and have achieved much success and the future of independent Iraq depends on this very cooperation and sympathy, and the United States will definitely have no room or place in the future of that country.”
His comments came after Israeli website Jerusalem Post claimed that the Iranian Air Force has bombed ISIL targets inside Iraqi territory in coordination with the US military which is leading the anti-ISIL coalition.
The Al Jazeera TV in a report on a joint operation by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, Iraq’s army and Shiite militias to recapture two Kurdish towns in Northeastern Iraq, near the Iranian border, showed the footages of a fighter jet in operation against ISIL targets in the area. The Al Jazeera report mentioned “Iraqi jet-fighters,” but Jerusalem post claimed that “the plane seen bombing ISIL positions is an F-4 Phantom, which is not in Iraqi service”, adding that “the venerable Phantom which first entered service in 1960 (and was retired by the US Air Force in the 1990s and Israel in 2004) still flies with two air-forces in the region, Turkey and Iran”.
The Israeli website acknowledged that “the Phantom’s markings are not visible in the Al Jazeera footage but since Turkey has so far refused to militarily aid the Kurds fighting across the border and the proximity to Iran, it is almost certainly an Iranian fighter”.
The Israeli media later claimed that the Al Jazeera footage “is the first documented of Iranian air attacks on Iraqi territory”.
The Obama administration has repeatedly denied that it is coordinating with Iran military action against ISIL. Last month, following the report in the Wall Street Journal on a personal letter sent by President Barack Obama to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, US national security adviser Susan Rice said that “we are in no way engaged in any coordination – military coordination – with Iran on countering ISIL”.
But Jerusalem Post insisted that “it is highly unlikely that fighter-jets would be operating in the same area where dozens of American planes, along with those of other air-forces of the international coalition, are also carrying out attacks against ISIS, without significant coordination”.