- ISIL/ISIS-aligned website publishes photos it says show scores of captured government soldiers, allegedly mostly Shia being shot dead. Over 1500 said to have been executed en mass in continuing Iraq Takfiri terror from the US, NATO, Saudi, Qatar and Kuwait funded and armed Takfiri’s who failed to defeat Syria.
June 16, 2014
(CNN) — One by one, Iraqi cities seem to be falling to a militant group bent on continuing its march forward.
What’s happening in Iraq now has all the makings of a civil war — and a full-blown foreign policy crisis. The United States is mulling direct talks with Iran while it boosts security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with military personnel.
Why Iran? In recent days, Iran has sent hundreds of troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Diyala province, a senior security official in Baghdad told CNN.
Clearly, the crisis in Iraq is spilling far beyond its borders.
Iran enters the mix
In recent days, Iran has sent about 500 of its Revolutionary Guard troops to fight alongside Iraqi government security forces in Iraq’s Diyala province, according to a senior security official in Baghdad who spoke to CNN on Friday.
But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denied reports that some of Iran’s elite forces are in Iraq to help bolster Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a fellow Shiite.
“If the Iraqi government wants us to help, we will consider it,” Rouhani said, according to an English translation of his remarks Saturday on state-run Press TV.
But “so far they have not asked specifically for help.” Rouhani added that Iran could give strategic guidance, if it’s requested.
The Obama administration is exploring possible direct talks with Iran over the deteriorating situation in Iraq, two senior U.S. officials told CNN.
Both officials ruled out any type of teaming up with Iran because the United States and Iran don’t have a lot of common interests — other than a stable Iraq.
The United States is wary of furthering Iran’s already considerable influence in Iraq. The Shiite Iranian regime is al-Malaki’s closest ally in the region. And the Obama administration is concerned that appearing to team up with Iran would both alienate Iraq’s Sunni minority and worry Sunni allies of the United States in the region.