ERBIL — Senior Advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati said on Monday that Iraq’s capital would have been captured by the Islamic State (IS) militants in 2014 if it wasn’t for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Velayati claimed that even the recent victories made against IS and the territorial gains the Iraqi forces have made are owed to Tehran’s assistance.
He said that the same military assistance was provided to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to resist against IS.
Iran is believed to have a great impact on policy makers in the Shi’ite-led government of Iraq. It also openly backs the Shi’ite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi who fight as paramilitary groups against IS.
However, the Hashd al-Shaabi is being repeatedly criticised by international human rights organisations for committing war crimes and abuses against civilians in the Sunni-populated areas they recapture from IS.