While I have written in previous posts that Iran has sent some of its military forces into Iraq to prop up the Iraqi Shiite central government against ISIL, Iran was previously rather coy about whether it was doing so or not. No more. Iran has now openly admitted that it is intervening inside Iraq to fight ISIL forces pressing the Iraqi central government. Iran has acknowledged that its warplanes carried out airstrikes against ISIL forces inside Iraq (first link). It also has announced that it will not allow ISIL to tear apart the Shiite Iraqi region like it has torn apart Syria–led by another ally of Iran.
The second link and third link contain reports of Iranian ground forces fighting inside Iraq. These reports are a few months old, so Iran has likely been sending elements of its army to fight inside Iraq for some time. In a recent post, I observed that I believed it was the presence of Iranian forces embedded within Iraqi army units that stiffened the will of the Iraqi army to fight ISIL and stop fleeing from them. The reports state Iranian forces have assisted Kurdish forces in the fight against ISIL. This would not be surprising. The Kurds are fighting for their lives inside Iraq and Syria against ISIL and they will accept help from any source from which they can obtain it. The last link concerns a news story that I mentioned previously in this blog: that Iran’s 81st Armored Division moved its forces inside Iraq’s border (likely to place it in a position to defend Baghdad in case it is assaulted by ISIL). It should be noted that some of Iran’s military forces are fighting with obsolete or obsolescent equipment. The warplanes shown in the first link are old American F-4 Phantoms, which would have been purchased by the Shah of Iran before he fell. The F-4 was a primary warplane of the USA in the Vietnam War. The tanks of the Iranian 81st Armored Division are apparently also older American models. Should Iran need to move into Iraq in great force to repulse ISIL from Baghdad, Iran will be able to use more modern military equipment obtained from Russia and China. From what I have read in the past, the Mullahs that lead Iran trust its Revolutionary Guard forces more than the Iranian army, so the Iranian army has the oldest equipment while the Revolutionary Guard forces receive modern equipment.
That Iran has openly admitted sending warplanes to fight ISIL inside Iraq is important and it sends three distinct messages, in my opinion. The first message was directed to the Iraqi central government and its Shiite forces and militias that Iran will not let their government or region fall to ISIL. That will stiffen their resolve to fight ISIL. The second message was sent to ISIL: that ISIL will be attacked by Iranian forces if they press too hard on Baghdad or the Shiite region of Iraq. The third message was directed to the USA and other western allies: that Iran will intervene in the war against ISIL whenever and wherever they feel a need to do so and that they will not bother to ask America’s (or anyone else’s permission). Oddly, Iran’s attack against ISIL forces at least temporarily places them in the position of being temporary allies of the USA and other nations fighting ISIL. I think it should also be noted that no nation or group other than the Kurdish Peshmerga and what is left of the Iraqi army are fighting ISIL with any intensity. What is left of the Syrian army is also fighting ISIL on the ground. The USA is only launching occasional airstrikes with limited tactical goals and other nations are launching even less-frequent airstrikes vs. ISIL targets. Turkey has done nothing discernible yet to fight ISIL at all. What is clear is that the nations of Iraq and Syria now exist only on maps. They have effectively disintegrated in reality.
From a biblical perspective, we are continuing to see the prophesied rival alliances in Ezekiel 38-39 jockeying for position and advantage in how the Mideastern map is being redrawn. Revelation 16:12-17 prophesies a great army from the eastern nations will attack westward across the Euphrates River and that this army will eventually make its way to the battle of Armageddon in the Valley of Megiddo in Israeli territory. This great eastern army will be one part of the Gog-Magog alliance and will doubtlessly include the Iranian forces. This prophecy argues that the Gog-Magog forces will control the Euphrates River and at least much of Mesopotamia at the time of the end. They already control much of this region, as the Shiite Iraqi central government is located there. Iran’s air force has served notice that Iran will not allow the Shiite (Gog-Magog) forces to be budged from controlling that region. Zechariah 14 is a prophecy that reveals the outcome of the Mideastern theater of World War III at the end of our age. So does Revelation 16:12-21 and 19:11-20:4. Notice the same phrase occurs in exactly the same time junction in the latter day prophetic sequence in both Ezekiel 39:8 and Revelation 16:17. Both prophecies say that the latter days have reached their concluding phase when God decrees, “it is done” in both prophetic passages. This confirms that these are parallel prophecies about the end of our age.