MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Lawmakers and ordinary citizens in Iraq’s Shiite heartland lauded Russia for airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group in neighbouring Syria while deploring the United States’ failures in the region, US media reported.
Russia launched precision airstrikes against ISIL targets at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad on September 30, in coordination with Iraq, Iran and Syria through the recently established Baghdad Information Center.
"The Russian intervention is welcomed, not because they like intervention but because of the American failure," local writers’ union leader Faris Hammam was quoted as saying by The New York Times late Sunday.
The newspaper further quoted a professor in the southern Iraqi governorate of Najaf questioning Washington’s capabilities in the anti-ISIL efforts after scaling back its presence in Iraq.
"The Americans have the technology to spot water on Mars…So why can’t they defeat ISIL," Kufa University professor Ahmed Naji stressed.
The outlet cited Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s interview with a public broadcaster this month saying Russia’s anti-ISIL efforts would be helpful in fighting terrorists in Iraq.
Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted scores of sorties in the nearly two-week air campaign, destroying hundreds of the terrorist group’s strongholds and equipment, and allowing Syrian government forces to liberate large areas from militants.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Russian airstrikes significantly reduced the militant groups’ fighting potential and mobility.
A US-led coalition of 60 countries has been bombing ISIL terrorist positions in Syria since 2014 without the approval of the UN Security Council or the Syrian authorities.