Iraqi civilians gather the morning after a car bombing that killed many people and wounded tens of others in a crowded outdoor market, in Baghdad's Sadr City, Iraq,Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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A powerful Iranian general has emerged as the chief tactician in Iraq's fight against Sunni militants, working on the front lines alongside 120 advisers from his country's Revolutionary Guard to direct Shiite militiamen and government forces in the smallest details of battle, militia commanders and government officials say.Shiite fighters have come to idolize the Iranians who have moved into the heat of battle alongside them -- with two Iranian advisers killed in fighting -- while government officials grumble the United States has failed to come to their aid.At a time when the U.S. and others are pressing Iraq's government to reach out to Sunnis to reduce support for the insurgency, the effective Iranian command of Iraq's defense is likely to further alienate Sunnis, who have long accused Shiite-led Iran of trying to dominate Iraq through its allies here.Besides the adviser team, Iranian drones are flying near daily reconnaissance flights and Iranian weapons have been pouring into Iraq in large quantities, mostly to Shiite militias.The Shiite militia commanders said Soleimani was also directing militias, volunteers and government forces at other front-line zones around Baghdad.
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