Iraq: Iran’s “Boots on the Ground”

Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (middle, with white checked scarf), visits Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq, October 2014.

The U.S. may not want “boots on the ground” in Iraq, but Iran sure does. In Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran’s military involvement in the Kurdish governorates of northern Iraq is multi-varied and on the increase.

Kurdish Rudaw T.V. has reported on Iran’s support for Kurdistan’s Peshmerga (military) campaign to regain villages lost to Islamic State [IS] jihadists this past summer. Rudaw T.V. even discussed the public visits of Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Qods Force, to the Peshmerga front line against the IS…

…The big winner politically in the multilateral effort to roll back the Islamic State’s territorial gains is Iran.

Tehran has even established an unofficial “no go zone” in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran’s most invidious influence, however, is possibly the widespread, invisible presence of agents from its Ministry of Intelligence [MOIS]…

Iran was a huge winner when the US took out Saddam too. But it never penetrates the Ayatollahs’ minds that there can be anything remotely positive about the US.