The Guardian reports: The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, gave qualified support to western military action against Isis inside Iraq, saying a concerted campaign could be successful as long as it was requested by the Iraqi government.
Speaking to journalists in New York while attending the UN general assembly, Rouhani appeared to draw a sharp distinction between Syria, where the Assad regime had not been informed of US air strikes, let alone asking for them; and Iraq, where the new government has formally called for military assistance.
He criticised western states for responding late to Iraq’s call for help, claiming Iran had been the first to come to its defence and helped prevent Irbil and Baghdad falling to Isis. He also questioned the value of relying on aerial power alone. [Continue reading…]
AFP adds: Iran will attack ISIS inside Iraq if they advance near the border, ground forces commander General Ahmad Reza Pourdestana said in comments published Saturday.
“If the terrorist group (IS) come near our borders, we will attack deep into Iraqi territory and we will not allow it to approach our border,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Pourdestana as saying.