BAGHDAD (Press Shia) – Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati assured Iraq of the Islamic Republic’s full support for the Arab country’s government and people.

Iran will spare no effort to assist the Iraqi people, Veleyati, who is also secretary-general of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, said at a joint press conference with Head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq Ammar Hakim in Baghdad on Thursday.

Urging utmost caution to prevent any civilian collateral damage in the military operations to retake Iraqi territories from the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, Veleyati added, “All of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s facilities for providing humanitarian assistance, including aid by the Red Crescent Society and other relevant organizations, are at the disposal of the Iraqi government.”

The comments came against a backdrop of a large-scale military operation to liberate Iraq’s northern city of Mosul.

The start of the long-awaited assault has raised some concerns about hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in Iraq's second-largest city, with aid groups warning of a massive humanitarian crisis.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced that the Army is "advancing faster than expected" in the offensive to recapture Mosul from Daesh.