Russian Anti-ISIL Airstrikes in Syria to Boost Iraq's Chances of Success
Iraq's Defense Ministry spokesman Nasir Nouri Mohammed said that Iraq has been unable to drive ISIL out of areas on the border with Syria, and 'if Russia joins in airstrikes, this will also help us combat terrorists more effectively on the Iraqi territory.'
CAIRO (Sputnik) – Russian military operations in Syria to combat the Islamic State (ISIL) extremist group will help Iraq in its fight against terrorism on its own territory, Iraq's Defense Ministry spokesman Nasir Nouri Mohammed said Wednesday.
'It happens so that Iraq and Syria are the zone of airstrikes against Islamic State. Events in Syria, of course, have their impact on Iraq. We believe that Russia's participation in the fight against terrorism will have a positive effect on the situation in Iraq,' the spokesman explained to RIA Novosti.
He said that Iraq has been unable to drive ISIL out of areas on the border with Syria, and 'if Russia joins in airstrikes, this will also help us combat terrorists more effectively on the Iraqi territory.'
The Russian president's chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, said earlier on Wednesday that the Syrian government had asked Moscow for military assistance, which led President Vladimir Putin to request the upper house of the Russian parliament to approve sending air forces to Syria to conduct airstrikes against ISIL.
Asked if Baghdad planned to appeal to Moscow with the same request, the Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman said military cooperation between the two nations was limited to intelligence exchange, but added that any decision to invite the Russian air force to launch air strikes against ISIL militants on Iraqi soil would be taken on the highest level.
A US-led international coalition has been conducting air raids against ISIL positions in Iraq since August 2014.
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