Baghdad May Soon Request Russian Air Support

MOSCOW – Iraq may turn to Russia for military help in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIL) if Russian airstrikes in Syria prove successful, the head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Defense and Security Committee told Sputnik on Wednesday.

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“Iraq may turn to Russia with a request to conduct airstrikes against the positions of Islamic State militants in Iraq if Russia is successful in Syria, that is if the airstrikes are effective and actual, and if we see that Russia [is operating] effectively in Syria,” Haqim Zamli said.

Zamli specified that the recently created Baghdad Information Center would assess the effectiveness of Russia’s ongoing airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria. A report will then be published by the Iraqi parliamentary defense committee or the Iraqi government, he added.

The lawmaker told media outlets earlier in the day that Baghdad wanted Moscow to play a larger role in the anti-ISIL campaign than the United States. Last Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi told French television that he was open to Russian involvement in anti-ISIL operations in the country.

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