Iranian military advisors in Iraq upon official request: Iraqi official
A high-ranking commander of the Popular Mobilization Units says Iranian military advisors are helping Iraqi army soldiers and allied forces in the fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorists upon an official request from the Baghdad government, Press TV reports.
“Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sent an official request of intervention to the United States following the fall of Mosul. The same request was submitted to the Iranian government as well. The US government did not provide any form of assistance until the Iraqi administration changed, and Haider al-Abadi was appointed the prime minister,” Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis told Press TV in an exclusive interview in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Tuesday.
He added that the US military has even pulled out the company tasked with the repair and maintenance of M1 Abrams battle tanks, and slashed the supply of the tanks and its related munitions to Iraq.
“The US did not provide any assistance. The Islamic Republic of Iran was quick enough to respond to our demand, and dispatched Major General Qasem Soleimani to Iraq. We were in dire need of arms and did not even have Kalashnikov rifles at our disposal,” Muhandis stated.
“The presence of experts and advisers from Iran gave us a major boost. They provided us with (military) guidelines, and even prevented the fall of the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil. Major General Soleimani went to Erbil to prevent its fall.”
“He went there at the request of the Iraqi government and President of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masoud Barzani. For two whole months, neither the United States nor European countries offered any assistance to the KRG,” he said.
The top Popular Mobilization Units commander underlined that Baghdad would have slipped into the hands of Daesh without the unwavering support of the Iranian military advisors.
Muhandis said fighters from Popular Mobilization Units coupled with Iraqi army soldiers and pro-government Sunni volunteer forces are making further advances in their battles against Daesh in Fallujah, expressing hope that the strategic western Iraqi city would be liberated within the next few days.
He said his forces and Iraqi government soldiers are seeking to retake Fallujah with the least possible damage, calling on the residents of the troubled city not to ask for US airstrikes as they will inflict enormous damage to buildings and running infrastructure.
Eighty-five percent of Anbar provincial capital city of Ramadi is in complete ruins because of US aerial attacks, Muhandis said.