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Baghdad may ask Russia to carry out airstrikes in Iraq

The head of Iraq’s Defence and Security Committee, Hakim Al-Zamili, said on Wednesday that Baghdad could ask for Russian airstrikes against Daesh in Iraq, Reuters reported.

“We might be obliged to request Russia to carry out air strikes in Iraq in the coming few days or weeks, but that will depend on Russia’s success in Syria,” Al-Zamili told reporters.

“We want to see Russia have greater role, greater than the Americans’ role in fighting Daseh,” he added, noting that the US-led coalition air strikes on Daesh have been “ineffective.”

Recently, Al-Zamili said that he thinks the new Control and Command Centre jointly formed with Russian and Iran would lead that battle against Daesh.

Iraq started thinking of Russian intervention against Daesh in Iraq following its intervention against the self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria. Iraq and a number of Iraqi factions backed by Iran are sceptical about the effectiveness of the strikes carried out by the US-led coalition in Syria.

However, Russian intervention in the Middle East, as well as intelligence and security cooperation with Iran and Iraq, have aroused fears in the US that its former opponent in the Cold War is seizing more sovereignty in the region.

Russia said it would consider extending its airstrikes against Daesh in Syria to include targets in Iraq if it received requests from Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said that Baghdad would welcome Russian airstrikes against Daesh, but on condition of permission by the Iraqi government. But this issue has not been discussed yet, he added.

Meanwhile, two main Shia factions in Iraq welcomed prospective Russian airstrikes against Daesh on Iraqi soil. They said in a statement that they are waiting to see Russian fighters targeting Daesh, noting that the US has not yet succeeded in its fight against Daesh.

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Europe & RussiaIraqMiddle EastNewsRussia
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