Senior Iranian Officer Killed in Iraq While Advising Fight Against ISIS

Brigadier General Hamid Taghavi was advising Iraqi troops, AFP reports; Cleric says Iran has sent more than 1,000 military advisers to Iraq.

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Sunni volunteers from Mosul take part in military training as they prepare to fight against militants of the Islamic State on the outskirts of Dohuk province, December 8, 2014
Sunni volunteers from Mosul take part in military training as they prepare to fight against militants of the Islamic State on the outskirts of Dohuk province, December 8, 2014Credit: Reuters
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Haaretz

A senior Iranian military officer has been killed in Iraq, the Revolutionary Guard said in a statement Sunday, according to French news agency AFP.

Brigadier General Hamid Taghavi was advising Iraqi troops fighting the Islamic State in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, the statement said.

Iranian military involvement in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq has increased dramatically over the past year, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

A senior Iranian cleric told the Post that Iran has sent more than 1,000 military advisers to Iraq since the Islamist group captured large parts of northern Iraq in June. The cleric said Iran has also conducted airstrikes and spent more than $1 billion on military aid in the fight against Islamic State.

“The areas that have been liberated from Daesh have been thanks to Iran’s advice, command, leaders and support,” the cleric told the Washington Post, using the Arabic acronym for the group.

The United States is not coordinating the battle against the Islamic State with Iran, but "the two nations’ arms-length alliance against the Islamic State is an uncomfortable reality," the Post reports.

The Obama administration plans to deploy up to 3,000 troops to retrain Iraqi forces, the paper reported, adding that as yet there has not been hostility between Americans and Iranians in Iraq.

However, a senior U.S. defense official said, the possibility for confrontation is “something we’re constantly worried about ... as we flow more personnel in there."

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