Iraqi parliament to vote on request for Russian airstrikes

According to a member of the State of Law Coalition, Iraqi parliament is planning to vote on the issue of requesting the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces in fighting the Islamic State militant group by October.

Iraq’s parliament is planning to vote to request support from the Russia in fighting the Islamic State militant group by the end of the month, a member of the State of Law Coalition told Sputnik on Wednesday.

The State of Law Coalition is Iraq’s largest political party, led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and is part of the ruling coalition. The legislator also told Sputnik that the vote is expected to pass with majority support. The US has been increasingly concerned with Russian influence in Iraq, sending envoys to the country to dissuade further cooperation.

“It doesn’t matter if the request is supported by Sunni and Kurdish factions or not, it changes nothing. We have enough strength in the parliament,” legislator Mowaffak Rubaie said.

Rubaie is also a former national security adviser in Nouri al-Maliki’s government.
The United States’ top-ranked general Joseph Dunford visited Iraq on Tuesday to seek assurances that Iraq would not request Russian aid in its operation against ISIL.
“Both the minister of defense and the prime minister said: ‘Absolutely.’ There is no request right now for the Russians to support them, there’s no consideration for the Russians to support them, and the Russians haven’t asked them to come in and conduct operations,” Dunford said as quoted by Reuters.
A week prior to Dunford’s visit, the US State Department envoy for the US-led anti-ISIL coalition also visited Iraq, telling Iraqi Prime Minister that the US is “disturbed” by Russian-Iraqi cooperation, according to leaks reported in regional media.
The new vote would alter these assurances, as Iraq’s government is obligated to follow decisions made by its legislature, Rubaie told Sputnik.
By Sputnik News