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Iran says it stands "side by side" with Iraq against Islamic State jihadists


Iraq

Iran says it stands "side by side" with Iraq against Islamic State jihadists

Iran’s Foreign Minister was in Iraq on Sunday for talks about the Islamic State Sunni militants who have seized large parts of the country.

Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi said international help was needed.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran stood by Iraq’s side and that stabilising security was a priority of its foreign policy. However he denied reports that Iranian soldiers were fighting alongside Iraqi forces

Meanwhile Kurdish Peshmerga forces who are taking on IS say they are struggling to defend themselves as they only have old weapons and are calling for international help.

Osman Abdulkaree said: “We need weapons, to make the battle equal. We need modern weapons, like those IS got, to be able to kick IS’s ass and get them off from our lands.”

Britain has said it will supply Kurdish forces with “non-lethal” equipment and send special security envoy Lieutenant General Sir Simon Mayall to work with Kurdish and Iraqi leaders.

It comes as British intelligence services are understood to be investigating a former rapper from London, believed to be one of several British jihadists involved in the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

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