TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran refused to confirm or deny Wednesday if its fighter jets had struck Islamic State group militants in eastern Iraq in recent days as reported by the Pentagon.
“There has been no change to Iran’s policy to provide support and advice to Iraqi officials in the fight against Daesh,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
“I do not confirm this information on military cooperation (with Iraq).
‘We provide military support and advice in the context of international rules,” she told reporters when asked about the reported Iranian bombing.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said on Tuesday that the United States had “indications that they (the Iranians) did indeed fly air strikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days.”
His comments came just a few days after Al-Jazeera ran footage of what appeared to be an F-4 fighter, similar to those used by the Iranian air force, attacking targets in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala.
Iranian forces have been active on the ground in Iraq assisting Shiite militia and Baghdad government units.
Tehran also has provided Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft to Iraq amid widespread speculation that the planes are flown by Iranian pilots.