07:46 GMT23 April 2021
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    Baghdad may request military assistance from Moscow in fight against Islamic State militants on Iraqi soil.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Baghdad has not yet requested military assistance from Moscow in fight against Islamic State militants on Iraqi soil, but may do so in the future if the country's leadership deems it necessary, an Iraqi defense ministry spokesman said Friday.

    "The Iraqi side has not yet sent a request to Russia about airstrikes in Iraq similar to those in Syria," Nasir Nouri told Sputnik Radio.

    International law, as defined by the UN Charter, permits the use of force in a foreign country only if it has been authorized by the UN Security Council, as an act of self-defense, or at the request of the country’s authorities.

    "However, it could happen in the future, the decision must be made by the Iraqi leadership depending on the development of the events," Nouri stressed.

    Russian combat jets began on Wednesday airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria on request by Bashar Assad government.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said the first two days of combat missions resulted in the destruction of 10 targets, including an explosives factory, an arms depot and an ISIL coordination center. The targets were chosen based on advance intelligence, including air surveillance gathered and verified by Russia and Syria.

    Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria are operating a joint Baghdad Information Center, coordinating the fight against the terrorist group.


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