First, Iraq recently angered the State Department by allowing Russian planes to bring supplies and equipment to Syria over its airspace. On Friday, Ibrahim al-Jafari, Iraq’s Foreign Minister, at the Council on Foreign Relations told journalists when asked about the Russian flights that his country “did not violate any of our commitments toward the international community.”
Just two days later, the Iraqi Army announced it has started the regular exchange of intelligence concerning ISIL terrorists with Russia, Syria and Iran, that would “participate in collecting information about ISIS terrorism.” The arrangement is significant for the country's security, as Iraq is concerned that thousands of volunteers joining the Islamic State have come from Russia, The New York Times reported.
The US has been officially providing military assistance to Iraqi armed forces for billions of dollars; there are some 3,500 American military personnel of various ranks and specializations deployed around the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama met on Monday, September 28, in New York to address different issues, mainly the coordination of efforts in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the French Air Force carried out first airstrikes on the positions of the Islamic State jihadist militant organization in Syria, AFP news agency reported citing the French President’s office.
The announcement follows Paris’ decision to expand its bombing campaign against the group from neighboring Iraq last week.
Source: AFP; NY Times