4-Way Security Coop. in Baghdad

4-Way Security Coop. in Baghdad4-Way Security Coop. in Baghdad

Iraq said on Saturday its military officials were engaged in intelligence and security cooperation in Baghdad with Iran, Russia and Syria to counter the threat from the so-called Islamic State militant group.

A statement from the Iraqi military’s joint operations command said the cooperation had come “with increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh (Islamic State),” Reuters reported.

Moscow has also stepped up its military involvement in Syria in recent weeks while pressing for Damascus to be included in international efforts to fight Islamic State.

Western officials have said US Secretary of State John Kerry wants to launch a new effort at the UN General Assembly this week to try to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

Russian news agency Interfax quoted a military diplomatic source in Moscow as saying the Baghdad coordination centre would be led on a rotating basis by officers of the four countries, starting with Iraq.

The source added a committee might be created in Baghdad to plan military operations and control armed forces units in the fight against Islamic State.

Iraqi officials on Friday had denied reports of a coordination cell in Baghdad set up by Russian, Syrian and Iranian military commanders aimed at working with Shia militias in Iraq.