Iraq, Russia, Iran, Syria forming joint center to fight Daesh
Iran Press TV
Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:9AM
Iraq says it is cooperating with Iran, Russia, and Syria to form an information center to fight against the Daesh terrorist group, which has been wreaking havoc on the Arab country since 2014.
A statement released by the Iraqi military's joint operations command said on Saturday that Iraqi officials are engaged in intelligence and security cooperation with officials from the three counties in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
The statement added that the cooperation had come "with increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh."
Sergei Smirnov, the first deputy director of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), said on September 18 that up to 2,400 Russian citizens are currently fighting on the side of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.
'The information available to us indicates that approximately 2,400 citizens of the Russian Federation are already taking part in the activities of this organization. It is quite a large number,' he said.
According to Russian media outlets, the leadership of the joint center will be determined on a rotating basis among the four countries, starting with Iraq.
A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Russian Interfax News Agency that a committee might be created in Baghdad to plan military operations and control armed forces units in the fight against the Daesh.
"The main goal of the center will be gathering, processing and analyzing current information about the situation in the Middle East – primarily for fighting IS (Daesh)," RT quoted a military-diplomatic source as saying.
The development comes as The New York Times reported on Saturday, citing US intelligence and law enforcement officials, that some 30,000 militants from over 100 countries, including more than 250 Americans, have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the ranks of Takfiri terrorist groups operating in the two countries.
Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh launched an offensive in June 2014, and took control of portions of the country.
Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters have launched joint operations aimed at regaining areas under Daesh control.
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