Iran is coming to the aid of its historic nemesis, sending elite fighters to Iraq in the wake of a Sunni insurgency that has claimed two key northern cities and now threatens Baghdad, Fox News has learned.
Some 150 fighters from the Revolutionary Guards elite Quds force have already been dispatched by Tehran, and the division's powerful commander, Qassem Suleimani, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday and pledged to send two notorious Iranian brigades to aid in the defense of Baghdad. That could amount to as many as 10,000 soldiers sent to fight the Sunni group known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Maliki is believed to be considering the offer, especially in light of reported decisions by the U.S. to reject his request for American airstrikes against the Al Qaeda-affiliated militants who have recently overrun Mosul and Tikrit and appear to be preparing for a march on the capital. [...]
Not everyone is reporting the same news about those airstrikes, though, see this from The Washington Post:
Iraqi media and a source close to Maliki's office in Baghdad said that Obama had already agreed to "imminent" U.S. airstrikes, to be launched from a base in Turkey. The senior official described those reports as "premature" but said a decision could come "today, tomorrow, in the coming days."
Oil prices are up a bit this week, but not much, currently under $107/bl. However, prospects for future oil development in Iraq are looking even worse than they were previously, which was not so great to begin with.