Tags: Iraq | Iran | US

Report: Iran Is Sending Drones, Weapons to Iraq

Thursday, 26 Jun 2014 09:37 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Iran is secretly flying surveillance drones over Iraq and sending military equipment there to help Baghdad in its fight against Sunni insurgents, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

A "small fleet" of Ababil drones was deployed to the Al Rashid airfield near Baghdad, the newspaper said on its website, citing anonymous U.S. officials.

Tehran has also installed an intelligence unit at the airfield to intercept electronic communications between ISIS fighters and commanders.

Ababil drones, less sophisticated than U.S. unmanned aircraft, are designed in Iran and have a nearly 10-foot (three-meter) wingspan. They are used for surveillance and are unarmed.

About a dozen officers of Iran's paramilitary Quds Force, have also been sent to Iraq to advise Iraqi commanders and help mobilize Shiite militias in the south of the country, the paper said, adding that Iran's Gen. Qassem Suleimani recently made two trips to Iraq.

Iran is also sending two flights daily to Baghdad with 70 tons each of military equipment and supplies.

"It's a substantial amount" of material, a U.S. official told the newspaper. "It's not necessarily heavy weaponry, but it's not just light arms and ammunition."

Tehran has massed 10 divisions of its army and its Quds Force troops along the border, ready to act if the Iraqi capital or Shiite shrines are threatened, The New York Times added.

Asked at a briefing, US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said she "can't confirm the specifics in those reports."

But she said "anyone in the region shouldn't do anything that might exacerbate sectarian divisions, that would fuel extremism inside Iraq."

The United States has for two weeks said Iranian aid for the Iraq crisis should be done in a nonsectarian way — by pressuring the Iraqi government to adopt a national unity government and not fuel the Sunni and Shiite conflict.

We "believe Iran could play a constructive role if it's helping to send the same message to the Iraqi government that we're sending," Harf said.

A lightning offensive by Sunni insurgents led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has overrun swathes of land north and west of Baghdad this month and threatens to tear the country apart.

The United Nations says at least 1,075 people have been killed, an estimated three quarters of them civilians, and 658 wounded in Iraq between June 5 and 22. Hundreds of thousands more have been displaced.

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

US Asks NKorea to Release Americans on Humanitarian Concerns

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 08:45 AM

The U.S. government on Monday requested that the North Korean government release three U.S. citizens currently detained  . . .

Cameron: We'll Seize Passports to Fight Jihadists

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 15:00 PM

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he will force airlines to share flight-lists with security services and give p . . .

Cuba Cracks Down on Goods in Travelers' Luggage

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 15:25 PM

Lugging duffel bags crammed with soap, socks, toys and other hard-to-obtain consumer goods, travelers arriving in Cuba o . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved