While the White House insists it is not cooperating with Iran in fighting the Islamic State terror group, The New York Times reported Tuesday night that Iran has deployed missile and rocket batteries to Iraq to help Iraqi government forces recapture the city of Tikrit from Islamic State.
According to the report, U.S. intelligence agencies observed the deployment of heavy weapons in recent weeks. Iraqi forces in the operation to wrest Tikrit out of Islamic State hands number 30,000, of which two-thirds are part of the Iraqi armed and trained Shi’a militias, the American sources said.
One defense official said in the report that Iran deployed Fajr-5 rockets and Fateh-110 missile batteries to the region, with another official saying there were other comparable Iranian weapons. The officials told The New York Times they believed Iran had brought in the heavier weaponry because after nearly eight weeks of fighting, Islamic State fighters were still entrenched in large parts of Tikrit. There have been reports that the Iraqi advance in Tikrit was recently halted due to roadside bombs.
America’s Central Intelligence Agency did not comment on the report.