BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 P.M.) – There has been no increase in the threat from Iranian-backed militias against the U.S.-led coalition forces fighting remnants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a senior British officer in the coalition told a Pentagon news briefing on Tuesday.
But just minutes later, British Major General Chris Ghika, the coalition’s deputy commander for strategy and information, declined to restate his earlier remarks and added that they did not represent a divergence from increasingly heated warnings coming from Washington, where officials say they see a growing threat from Iran.
Iran says the U.S. is waging “psychological warfare” and a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander on Sunday said Iran would retaliate against any aggressive U.S. moves.
“No, there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. We are aware of their presence clearly and we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that is the environment we are in,” Ghika said initially.
Iranian and U.S. Coalition troops are just a few kilometers away from one another in eastern Syria, but despite their proximity, they have rarely engaged one another in combat.