Iraqi PM Abadi: Baghdad Welcomes Russia Strikes in Iraq

Iraqi PM Abadi: Baghdad Welcomes Russia Strikes in Iraq
Thu Oct 1, 2015 20:42:04

Shortly after Russia launched airstrikes against militants in Syria, Iraq announces that it would also welcome any such military measures by Moscow on its soil.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told France 24 television on Thursday that he had been receiving "massive information" from both Syria and Russia on the ISIS Takfiri militant group.

When asked if he had discussed with Russia airstrikes in his country, Abadi said, "Not yet," adding, "It is a possibility. If we get the offer we will consider it and I would welcome it."

Meanwhile, senior Russian foreign ministry official Ilya Rogachev said that his country would consider launching the strikes if it gets “such a request from the Iraqi government or a Security Council resolution that depends decisively on the will of the Iraq government.”

In summer 2014, ISIS expanded its militancy from Syria to Iraq by capturing some key urban areas in north and later in the west of the country.

The Iraqi army has managed to push back the group from some northern territories, including from Tikrit, the capital of the Salahuddin province. Military operations are under way to purge the militants from Ramadi and Mosul, two major bastions of ISIS in west and north.

Moscow announced earlier in the day that it has appointed Lieutenant General Sergei Kuralenko to represent Russia at a joint intelligence task force in Baghdad, which also includes Iran and Syria.

Rogachyov also ruled out Russia joining a US-led coalition purportedly targeting ISIS positions in the Iraq.

“Theoretically, it would look nice (to join the US-led coalition) from a political point of view, but I think that we have difficulty understanding the principles on which the coalition is acting,” Rogachyov said, adding, “On the basis that the coalition currently exists, we are unlikely to join.”

Russian defense ministry announced that it had sent more than 50 military aircraft as well as marines, paratroopers and Special Forces into Syria. It came just one day after it started to pound positions of ISIS across Syria; Press TV reported.

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