Kerry: any Iran action against ISIS ‘positive’

An Iranian Air Force (IRIAF) F-4E Phantom landing at Tehran – Mehrabad International airport (Photo courtesy of: theaviationist.com)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described Wednesday any Iranian action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as 'positive,' Agence France-Presse reported.

Kerry's statements came hours after the Pentagon said that Iran has launched air strikes against ISIS targets in neighboring Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told AFP that "We have indications that they did indeed fly air strikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days."

In further comments, Kirby said it was up to the Iraqi government to oversee and coordinate military flights by different countries and not U.S. commanders.

"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," Kirby told reporters.

"Nothing has changed about our policy of not coordinating military activity with the Iranians."

White House also reiterated the U.S. policy against cooperating with Iran in the fight against ISIS.

"At this point our calculation about the wisdom of cooperating with the Iranians hasn't changed. We're not going to
do it," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
 

Iranian denial

However, Iran denied taking any action against the militant group, a senior Iranian official told Reuters news agency. 

“Iran has never been involved in any air strikes against the Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) targets in Iraq," the senior official said on condition of anonymity.

“Any cooperation in such strikes with America is also out of question for Iran,” the official said.

According to AFP, Iran have reportedly been active on the ground in Iraq in recent months, supporting Shiite militia and Baghdad government units in their fight against ISIS.

Iran has provided Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft to Iraq amid widespread speculation that the planes are flown by Iranian pilots.

U.S. fighters, bombers and surveillance aircraft fly daily missions over Iraq along with other coalition warplanes from European governments as well as Australia and Canada.

The U.S.-led air campaign against the ISIS group began on August 8 in Iraq and was extended into Syria in September.

[With AFP and Reuters]
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
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