Iraq Intends to Strengthen Anti-ISIL Cooperation With Russia

© AFP 2022 / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE An Iraqi army member mans a tank on the outskirts of Baiji refinery north of Tikrit, during a joint operation between the army and popular mobilisation units to retake the remaining area of the Baiji oil refinery from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists, on May 24, 2015
An Iraqi army member mans a tank on the outskirts of Baiji refinery north of Tikrit, during a joint operation between the army and popular mobilisation units to retake the remaining area of the Baiji oil refinery from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists, on May 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Friday met with a delegation from Iraq’s committee on security and defense to discuss the situation in Iraq on the Islamic State’s expansion, as well as Russia’s efforts in the fight against terrorism in Syria.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iraq intends to strengthen cooperation with Russia in the fight against the Islamic State group, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

"The Iraqi side underlined its intention to further strengthen coordination and cooperation between Moscow and Baghdad on counterterrorism. The importance of continued Russian support to the Iraqi government was noted," the ministry said in a statement.

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The statement follows a meeting between the Iraqi parliamentary delegation's head Hakim Zamili and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow.

“During the meeting, a discussion was held on the developing situation in Iraq in regard to Iraqi authorities’ decisive counteractions against the expansion of the Islamic State, as well as Russia’s Aerospace Forces operations in suppressing terrorists in neighboring Syria,” the ministry said.

Vast territories in Iraq and neighboring Syria have been occupied by the Islamic State, which has proclaimed a caliphate on the land under its control.

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Since September 30, Russia has been conducting pinpoint airstrikes on ISIL positions in Syria, at the request of country's president Bashar Assad. So far, the Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out around 1,800 sorties, destroying some 2,700 terrorist targets. Several hundreds of militants have been killed, dozens of command centers and depots destroyed.

In late September, Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran created the Baghdad Information Center to coordinate joint military action against ISIL. The four countries are represented by officers of the national armed forces, whose primary task is to collect and analyze data related to militant operations in the region.

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