A senior Iranian lawmaker warned that the United States is “plotting a new invasion” by sending more troops to Iraq and Syria. “The mobilization of popular forces in Iraq and Syria has terrified the plotters of the Syrian war and they are plotting a new invasion by sending more gunmen,” Ahmad Salek, the deputy head of Iranian parliament’s cultural commission, said. In an interview with the parliament’s official news agency, he also accused the U.S., British and Israeli intelligence agencies of sending “thousands of terrorists from different nationalities to Syria to topple Damascus,” but added that “they have had no gains so far.” He also alleged that Saudi Arabia is fighting America’s war in the region. The parliamentarian from Isfahan Province also claimed Iran has defeated the United States in the region. “America deployed thousands of military forces to the Middle East in order to besiege Iran. But it has practically been under the siege of Islamic awakening of the resistance front.”
Comment: With the Islamic State on the brink of defeat in Iraq and Syria, Iranian leaders have already shifted focus on the presence of U.S. military forces in the region. The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri said earlier today that one of his priorities this year will be to enhance intelligence activities vis-à-vis “foreign enemies” stationed around Iranian borders.
In recent days, Iran-controlled militia groups in Iraq have been pressuring the Baghdad government to oppose the deployment of additional American troops to Iraq and “expel” coalition troops already in Mosul. “The international coalition has not assisted Iraq other than killing civilians and helping terrorists,” Ali al-Husseini, a spokesman of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force said in an exclusive interview with Fars News Agency last week. Iranian proxies have also waged a vicious propaganda campaign against American troops advising Iraqi security forces in Mosul – accusing U.S.-led alliance of assisting the Islamic State.
Similarly in Afghanistan, Iran has deepened its ties with the Taliban to undermine the U.S.-led stabilization efforts there and accelerate the withdrawal of foreign troops from its eastern neighbor.