Iraq: Anti-IS Alliance With Iran, Russia, Syria

Iraq: Anti-IS Alliance With Iran, Russia, Syria Iraq: Anti-IS Alliance With Iran, Russia, Syria

Disappointed with the systemic setbacks of the US military campaign against the so-called Islamic State militant group, Iraq is now working on a new alliance with Iran, Russia and Syria, a senior Iraqi parliamentary official said on Tuesday.

Iraq has begun bombing Islamic State targets with help from a new intelligence center staffed with the three countries plus Iraqis.

Each of the four have six members in the intelligence and security cooperation cell, which holds meetings in Baghdad's fortified "Green Zone" that once housed the headquarters of the US occupation army, the head of the parliament's defense and security committee Hakim al-Zamili told Reuters.

"We find it extremely useful," Zamili said. "The idea is to formalize the relationship with Iran, Russia and Syria. We wanted a full-blown military alliance."

Iranian military advisers help direct Baghdad's campaign against IS.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said he would welcome Russian air strikes against Islamic State on Iraqi soil.

Baghdad says the US lacks the decisiveness and the readiness to supply weapons needed to eliminate militancy in the region. Washington denies such accusations. US-led air strikes on IS militants, who control a third of Iraq, have failed to turn the tide in the Arab country's conflict.

Sami al-Askari, a former member of the Iraqi Parliament and one-time senior adviser to ex-prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, said Iraq was aware of the sensitivities of the new arrangement.

"The Iraqi government wants to do this in a way that doesn't look like they're pushing the Americans away," he said.