Spokeswoman Denies Media Reports on Iran's Military Presence in Iraq
The Iranian Foreign Ministry categorically denied the recent media reports on the presence of the Iranian military forces in Iraq.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has not dispatched any military force to Iraq and has no plan to do so,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham stated on Saturday evening.
She said that "Iran is following developments in Iraq with high sensitivity given mutual cooperation and international obligations, and attaches special attention to cooperation with the Iraqi government in all fields."
The remarks by the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman came after some Arab media networks, including Al Jazeera claimed that about 1,500 Iranian soldiers have taken part in a joint operation inside Iraq with Kurdish forces to retake a town held by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The ISIL is a militant group that claims as an independent state the territory of Iraq and Syria, with implied future claims intended over more of the Levant, including Lebanon, occupied Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus, and Southern Turkey.
In addition to attacks on government and military targets, the group has claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians.
In early June, following its large-scale offensives in Iraq, ISIL seized control of most parts of Mosul, the second most populous city in Iraq and its surrounding Nineveh province.
On Wednesday, Afkham had told reporters in Tehran that Iran is holding consultations with different countries, including the European states, to coordinate efforts aimed at fighting with the ISIL terrorist group operating in Iraq.