Iran has denied conducting airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq, Reuters reports, citing a senior Iranian official. Earlier on Wednesday, the Pentagon said that Iran had conducted several airstrikes against the Islamic State in eastern Iraq.
MOSCOW, December 3 (Sputnik) — Iran has denied conducting airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq, Reuters reports, citing a senior Iranian official.
"Iran has never been involved in any air strikes against the Daesh targets in Iraq. Any cooperation in such strikes with America is also out of question for Iran," the senior official told the news agency on condition of anonymity. The Islamic State, a radical Sunni group currently controlling large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, is also known as Daesh.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pentagon announced that Iran had conducted several airstrikes against the Islamic State in eastern Iraq.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, stressed that the United States and Iran are not coordinating their efforts. "We are flying missions over Iraq. We coordinate with the Iraqi government as we conduct those. It’s up to the Iraqi government to deconflict that air space," a Pentagon spokesman said, as quoted by AFP. "Nothing has changed about our policy of not coordinating military activity with the Iranians," he added.
In response to Kirby’s remarks and media reports, General Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, has said that Iran did not coordinate airstrikes in Iraq with the United States, according to the Fars News Agency. However, he did not confirm or deny the reports that Iran was conducting airstrikes in the region. He also blamed the US for the "unrests and problems as well as the terrorist actions of [the Islamic State] in Iraq," as quoted by the news agency.
"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," General Massoud Jazayeri added.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks into northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control. A US-led international coalition is currently conducting airstrikes against IS targets both on Iraqi and Syrian territory.