Iraq may request Russian air strikes against Islamic State on its soil soon and wants Moscow to have a bigger role than the United States in the war against the militant group, the head of parliament’s defence and security committee said on Wednesday, Reurers reports.
“We might be forced to ask Russia to launch air strikes in Iraq soon. I think the upcoming few days or weeks Iraq will be forced to ask Russia to launch air strikes and that depends on their success in Syria,” Hakim al-Zamili told Reuters.
Iraq’s government and powerful Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias question the United States’ resolve in fighting Islamic State militants, who control a third of the country, saying U.S.-led coalition air strikes are ineffective.
Russian air strikes against the government’s opponents in Syria have raised hopes in Baghdad that Russia could become an effective partner against the ultra-hardline group.
“We are seeking to see Russia have a bigger role in Iraq. … Yes, definitely a bigger role than the Americans,” Zamili said.