Military officer says no rise in Iran threat in Iraq, Syria

The administration cited the threats as the reason for expediting the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and other military resources to the region.

14 May 2019 | 18:55

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 14 May 2019 | 18:55

The USS Abraham Lincoln sails south in the Suez canal near Ismailia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON: The U.S.-led military coalition combating the Islamic State group has detected no increased threat lately to its troops in Iraq or Syria from Iranian-backed forces, a senior coalition officer said Tuesday.

“No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika told reporters at the Pentagon in a video-conference from coalition headquarters in Baghdad. “We’re aware of their presence, clearly, and we monitor them, along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in.

His comment follows assertions by Trump administration officials that they have detected signs that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies were preparing for possible attacks against American interests in the Mideast.

The administration cited the threats as the reason for expediting the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and other military resources to the region.

“There are a substantial number of militia groups in Iraq and Syria, and we don’t see any increased threat from any of them at this stage,” Ghika said.

The U.S. has about 5,000 troops in Iraq and about 2,000 in Syria as part of a coalition campaign to defeat the Islamic State group there.

Show Comments

An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.