After Russia supplied Su-25 jets and the United States provided helicopters, drones and missiles, three Su-25s from Iran have arrived as well, said the International Institute for Strategic Studies, based in London.
It indicates the U.S. and Iran, enemies on most geopolitical fronts, are working toward the same goal.
IISS analysts said serial numbers on the Russian-built aircraft from Iran, seen on a video produced by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, correspond with numbers known to be part of Iran's air force.
Joseph Dempsey of the IISS noted "evidence of key positions (identifying marks) being painted over. This includes the location of Iranian roundels on the side of the air intakes along with a large proportion of the tail fin normally occupied by a full serial number, the Iranian flag and the IRGC (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps) insignia. Imagery analysis makes this the most logical conclusion. The markings, serial numbers and camouflage all fit with what we know of the Iranian fleet."
Dempsey suggested the planes are being flown by non-Iraqi pilots, noting Iraq has not used this type of aircraft since the first Gulf War.