WASHINGTON (AFP) – Syria and Iran have both been involved in “unhelpful actions” regarding the situation in Iraq, the head of US Central Command, General John Abizaid, said.
“There are indications from intelligence folks that there are some Iranian activities going on that are unhelpful,” said Abizaid, speaking from Iraq to reporters at the Pentagon.” And there’s also unhelpful actions coming from Syria.”
Abizaid declined to elaborate on what the “unhelpful actions” were but said the US military had not taken any specific action along the border between Iran and Iraq.
“We haven’t taken any action … on the (Iran-Iraq) border that had to do with any specific Iranian activity,” he said.
Abizaid also said there were “elements” in Shiite Muslim Iran that were trying to limit the influence of radical Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose forces have been battling US troops for the past week.
“With regard to the Iranians there are elements within Iran that are urging patience and calm and trying to limit the influence of Sadr,” he said.
“So it’s a complicated situation but what we need is all of the nations around Iraq to participate in calming the situation and assisting with a sovereign and stable government emerging,” Abizaid added.