Iraqi government comfortable receiving aid from Iran


The Iraqi defense minister stated on Monday that his government is comfortable asking for and receiving help from Shiite-led Iran, a major U.S. adversary, in its fight against Islamic State militants. Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi added that they are at war, which requires Iraq to seek foreign assistance. He spoke candidly at a joint news conference with U.S. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was on a brief excursion to Baghdad. Iraq has been dependent on military assistance from both the U.S. and Iran in its conflict with Islamic State extremists. The Islamic State have capture controlled about one-third of Iraq and Syria. The U.S. is concerned that Iran is getting too heavily involved in Iraqi affairs, but al-Obeidi quickly dismissed that notion. Dempsey, who also met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and senior U.S. officials during his brief visit, said the U.S.-led coalition is being cautious in its usage of air power in order to avoid civilian casualties. Prior to arrival at the Iraqi capital, Dempsey said that he wanted to press the Shiite-dominated government to deliver on its assurances to reconcile with the Sunni minority and to clarify how it intends to balance its relations with Iran.


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