Iranian-fueled rumors that the U.S. is arming the Islamic State, or ISIS, with weapons have resulted in at least one instance where anti-ISIS fighters fired on U.S. forces. Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, the most important military leader in Iran, and a man with tremendous influence over Iran’s activities in both Iraq and Yemen, believes the rumor fully according to a key U.S. special operations forces commander in Iraq.
Army Brig. Gen. Kurt Crytzer, deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Central, revealed the concern at a conference on Tuesday when he spoke about “intelligence reports that we’ve gotten that members [of the anti-Islamic State coalition] were firing on helicopters because they thought we were supporting Daesh.” He later clarified “there was an incident; this was one specific incident where we had certain intelligence.” He did not say when this had occurred. In the fall of last year, Iranian state media began to report that the U.S. was aiding the Islamic State, an assertion based, in part, on a video from the militant group. The video, from October, shows Islamic State militants rifling through a cache of American-supplied grenades and other small weapons. Also in October, the Pentagon acknowledged that a shipment of weapons dropped from the air and intended for Kurdish forces had wound up in the hands of the Islamic State.
The Islamic State is often referred to derogatively as Daesh by military leaders and anti-ISIS groups in the region. […]