Iran Deploys Revolutionary Guard Forces to Help Iraq

(Wall Street Journal) Farnaz Fassihi and Ali A. Nabhan - Iraq's government girded to protect the capital from advancing insurgents, as Iranian security officials said their forces had joined the battle on Baghdad's side. Faced with the threat of Sunni extremists eclipsing the power of Iraq's Shiite-dominated rulers, Shiite Iran sprang into action to aid its besieged Arab ally. At least three battalions of the Quds Forces, the overseas branch of the Revolutionary Guards, were dispatched to Iraq, Iranian security officials said. They helped reclaim most of the city of Tikrit on Thursday, the security officials said. Two units, dispatched from Iran on Wednesday, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf. Gen. Qasem Sulaimani, the commander of the Quds Forces and one of the region's most powerful military figures, traveled to Baghdad this week to help manage the swelling crisis.

2014-06-13 00:00:00

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