• Iraq’s military officials cooperating with Russia, Iran and Syria
  • Security deals agreed may raise concerns in Washington

Iraq’s military officials are cooperating with Russia, Iran and Syria in an effort to tackle the spread of the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), according to officials based in Baghdad.

In a statement released on 26 September, Iraq’s military joint operations commander said security and intelligence deals had been agreed amid “increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh [Isis]”.

The security deals are likely to give Russia more influence in the Middle East and may raise concerns in Washington.

Despite significant financial and military assistance from the US over the past year, Baghdad has struggled to regain control of land seized by Isis, which controls about a third of the country.

On 27 September, the day after Iraq’s announcement, a coalition led by the US conducted 20 air strikes against Isis in Iraq and Syria.

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