Iran: ready to help Iraq "battle Al Qaeda terrorists" in Anbar
An Iranian military official told the Associated Press Sunday that Tehran is ready to help Iraq "battle [its] Al Qaeda 'terrorists'" in its western Anbar province.
Iranian media quoted deputy chief-of-staff of the army, Gen. Mohammad Hejazi saying that "the Islamic Republic can offer 'military equipment and advisers' should Baghdad ask for it."
However, Hejazi immediately ruled out sending troops according to the statement.
Al Qaeda-linked forces have overtaken Iraq's city of Fallujah as well as parts of the Anbar capital of Ramadi after Iraqi security forces attempted to dismantle the Sunni protest camp in the province due to allegations that it had become an "Al Qaeda headquarters."
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, an Al-Qaeda linked group with strongholds growing in Iraq and Syria in particular, is considered responsible for overtaking Ramadi and Fallujah earlier this week.
At least 22 soldiers and 12 civilians were killed in fighting in Anbar Sunday. An unknown number of militants were also killed Sunday.
- Iraqi forces prepare to attack Al Qaeda-controlled Fallujah, 20 killed in Baghdad bombings
- Iraqi PM calls for Fallujah residents, tribes to help fight against "terrorists"
- Iraqi air force strikes Anbar to try to oust al Qaeda
- Iraqi forces make major gains in Anbar province
- HRW calls Al Qaeda's action in Iraq "abhorrent"