Russia Does Not Rule Out Assistance to Iraq in Fight Against Daesh

© Photo : Russian Defence MinistryEveryday life of the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield in Syria
Everyday life of the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield in Syria - Sputnik International
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Moscow may render assistance to Baghdad in combating Daesh should the Iraqi authorities launch such initiative.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia does not rule out the possibility of assistance to Iraq in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group if Baghdad shows such an interest, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

"The US-led coalition is working in Iraq with Baghdad's consent. I do not rule out that if there is interest on the part of the Iraqi authorities, we are well able to provide them with additional assistance, at least in intelligence data exchange or in other forms," Lavrov told reporters.

Lavrov's statement comes amid the ongoing operation to liberate the city of Mosul, which began on October 17, 2016. Iraqi troops have managed to advance in the eastern part of the city, but the western part — on the right bank of the Tigris River — remains under militant control.

Cars pass by a billboard showing US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin placed by pro-Serbian movement in the town of Danilovgrad on November 16, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The US-led international coalition of more than 60 members has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh targets in Iraq and Syria since August and September 2014 respectively.

Russia has been conducting a military operation against terrorists in Syria since September 30, 2015, at President Bashar Assad's request.

Daesh is outlawed in the United States, Russia and numerous other countries.

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