03:52 GMT +322 September 2019
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    One of the two recently delivered F-16 fighter jets from the US is seen on the tarmac at Iraq's Balad air base in the Salaheddin province, north of the capital Baghdad, on July 20, 2015

    Iraq Starts Bombing ISIL Using Shared Russian, Syrian Intel – MP

    © AFP 2019 / SABAH ARAR
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    The Iraqi military has reportedly launched its first air strikes on Islamic State militant positions using the data of a new information center in Baghdad which was created in cooperation with Russia, Iran and Syria.

    Iraq began to bomb Islamic State (ISIL) targets with the help of a new intelligence center that includes staff from Russia, Iran and Syria, Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the Iraqi parliament's defense and security committee, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

    He added that the center comprises six staff members from each country and that it has already been operational for about one week.

    "We can get a lot of use from Russian intelligence, even if they don't do air strikes," Zamili said.

    In late September, it was reported that Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq had set up an information center in Baghdad to coordinate the fight against ISIL.

    Sources said at the time that the center would focus on the collection, processing, summarizing and analysis of current data about the situation in the Middle East in the context of the fight against Islamic State militants.

    The sources added that the center will be headed by Russian, Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian officers on a three-month rotational basis, according to the source.

    For his part, the Russian President's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said back then that reports on the creation of an anti-ISIL coordination center in Baghdad were false.

    On September 30, more than fifty Russian aircraft and helicopters, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 warplanes, started precision airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Earlier that day, the Russian upper house of parliament unanimously supported President Vladimir Putin's request to deploy units of the Russian Aerospace Forces abroad.

    Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad confirmed, for his part, that Syrian Army strikes, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, were carried out against armed terrorist organizations, not political opposition factions or civilians.

    Related:

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    Iranian FM Says Russia's Efforts Against Islamic State 'Important'
    Putin Wins Support for Call to Create New Anti-Islamic State Coalition
    Tags:
    Daesh, information center, air strikes, situation, militants, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Russia
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