A major complication for the U.S. has surfaced in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq. According to U.S. defense officials, Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing troops, heavy artillery and long-range weapons in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, reported AP.
The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke Friday on condition of anonymity reporting that “Iranian forces have taken a significant offensive role in the Beiji operation, in conjunction with Iraqi Shiite militia,” according to The Huffington Post.
“Iranians are operating artillery, 122mm rocket systems and surveillance and reconnaissance drones to help the Iraqi counteroffensive,” one official said.
The Obama administration has not been able to find an effective approach to countering the terrorist group ISIS, and Iran’s new role in Iraq is a complicating factor.
U.S. officials have said they “do not oppose contributions from Iran-supported Iraqi Shiite militias as long as they operate under the command and control of the Iraqi government,” the Post noted.
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H/T: The Huffington Post