June 13, 2014 at 4:41 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Iran, an important ally of Iraq, is coming to its neighbor's rescue, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Tehran has deployed three battalions of a branch of its elite Revolutionary Guard called the Quds Forces to help Iraqi soldiers fight back against advancing fighters from the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, who are advancing from the north.
The Journal says that combined Iraqi and Iranian forces have thus far been successful in retaking most of Tikrit from the ISIS, which had seized the city Wednesday when Iraqi security forces fled their posts rather than fight the enemy.
Once bitter enemies, Iraq and Iran have become close allies since the U.S. invasion of Iraq 10 years ago had the unintended consequence of strengthening ties between Baghdad and Tehran.
Because Shiites are the majority in both countries, Iran can't afford to allow Sunni extremists to overrun Iraq -- a scenario that could threaten Iran's own national security.
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