DUBAI/BAGHDAD, June 17 (RIA Novosti) — Iraq's Defense Ministry expects the US to strike militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) extremist group, which has occupied part of Iraq, a source at the ministry told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
"Two ships with military equipment and war planes have already arrived in the Persian Gulf and may stop at the American base in Qatar," the source said.
"Baghdad and Washington have an agreement about the possibility of hit-and-run attacks on terrorists in certain Iraqi territories," the ministry source said, adding that Iraqi authorities had earlier addressed the US with a corresponding request.
The Sunni militant group ISIS, which had been fighting in Syria until recently, led an attack on the northern and western regions of Iraq last week. Some Sunni Muslims dissatisfied with the policies of Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former members of Saddam Hussein’s army have joined ISIS.
The situation in Iraq has deteriorated dramatically this June, after ISIS militants captured Mosul, the capital of the northern Iraqi province of Manawa, as well as a number of small settlements in the neighboring province of Kirkuk and part of the Salah al-Din province, including its administrative center, the city of Tikrit. The militants also announced their intention to march on Baghdad.
Iraqi military forces fled the embattled regions, pursued by the extremists. Many of the soldiers were captured and some executed by the rebels.
US President Barack Obama said Washington has not excluded military action against extremists in Iraq, but will not send troops back into the country.
The US and other P5+1 international mediators (Russia, the UK, France, Germany, China), and Iran are meeting this week in Vienna.