Iran accused of sending 30,000 troops to fight in Iraq

Kurdish politician alleges country's presence in a number of Iraqi cities goes beyond military advisers and experts.

    Kurdish authorities in Iraq have accused Iran of sending 30,000 soldiers and military experts to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

    Shakhawan Abdullah, the head of Iraq's parliamentary security and defence committee, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that Iranian soldiers were operating in a number of Iraqi cities and fighting on Iraqi soil.

    Inside Story: Revenge and reprisals in Iraq?

    Abdullah said Iran's presence went beyond military advisers and experts, and that Iranians were fighting under the banner of the Popular Mobilisation Forces.

    The Popular Mobilisation Forces is an umbrella organisation of Shia armed groups composed of around 100,000 fighters.

    Iran has repeatedly denied sending soldiers to Iraq despite claims by the US.

    In August, Iran was accused of sending hundreds of soldiers to retake the town of Jalawla from ISIL, while in December it was alleged that an Iranian F-4 fighter struck ISIL targets in the province of Diyala.

    Shia fighters have been accused of killing dozens of civilians in retribution against the actions of ISIL since the group seized large swathes of land and announced the establishment of a "caliphate" straddling the two countries.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?