Iran is vehemently denying reports that its aircraft bombed ISIS targets in Iraq, despite a confirmation from Pentagon.
Reports claimed on Tuesday that Iran had officially joined the war against ISIS though not as part of the US-led Arab coalition. The news gained authenticity after a video footage from Iraq showed an Iranian McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet launching an attack on the ISIS-held area of Diyala in Iraq.
At least one F-4 has been captured live on camera bombing ISIS from Iran's McDonnel Douglas F-4 Phantom-II. The footage shot by Al Jazeera , initially erroneously identified the aircraft as an Iraqi fighter but later it was identified as the F-4, IHS Jane's 360 reported.
It was confirmed that the air strikes in Iraq were carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) aircraft. The footage is the first visual evidence of direct IRIAF involvement in the conflict.
The video footage of the Iranian fighter jet, which was shot on 24 November, shows the IRIAF F-4 supporting Iraqi forces retaking the town of Sa'adiya in what is purported to be the government's largest operation against the Islamic State since June.
The development also was confirmed by the US Department of Defence."We have indications that they did indeed fly air strikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told AFP.
Kirby also emphasised that the US believes this is the first time that Tehran has launched a manned aircraft from inside Iran to strike targets in Iraq.
he Pentagon spokesman, however, maintained that the US had not coordinated airstrikes or military activities with Iran.