The United States understands that Iran is also bombing areas of Iraq where extremist group Islamic State is operating, a defense official has confirmed, but it will not respond to Tehran’s presence unless there is an immediate threat to US forces.
“We are aware of that. I wouldn’t say we’re necessarily concerned with it – we kind of have our eyes on it,” the official told The Huffington Post, adding that Iran is bombing targets close to its own border with Iraq.
The US is currently leading its own airstrike campaign – assisted by Western allies like the UK and regional partners like Saudi Arabia – against Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, countries where the group has come to control large swaths of territory.
The official’s claims come days after IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, a British defense analysis organization, and Israeli news outlet Haaretz both reported that an Iranian jet had flown through Iraqi airspace.