Iraqi military officials announced Sunday they intend to begin collaborating with Russia, Iran and Syria and share intelligence gathered against the Islamic State.
Russia commenced drone reconnaissance operations in Syria last week.
Iraqi Joint Operations Command issued a statement which read: “(The countries will) help and cooperate in collecting information about the terrorist Daesh group.”
In Baghdad, army spokesman Colonel Steve Warren stated:
“The U.S. remains committed to working with Iraq to defeat the extremists. We recognize that Iraq has an interest in sharing information on ISIL with other governments in the region who are also fighting ISIL. We do not support the presence of Syrian government officials who are part of a regime that has brutalized its own citizens.”
When in New York for a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked about the new intelligence-sharing arrangement between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia. Lavrov said: “We coordinate the efforts against ISIL.”
In contrast to Lavrov, Secretary of State John Kerry took a slightly different tone:
“All of the efforts need to be coordinated. This is not yet coordinated. I think we have concerns about how we are going to go forward. That is precisely what we are meeting on to talk about now. Our presidents will be meeting tomorrow.”
Mr. Kerry is laboring under the delusion a coordinated effort begins and ends with American prerogatives.
Keeping pace with ISIS and weary of American inaction, Russia began supplementing military centers in Syria, furnished Syria with weapons, began conducting drone operations, shared intelligence and has now added Iran and Iraq to their coterie.
This Russian activity demonstrates Russia’s expertise in building a coalition of local forces to defeat the menace of ISIS while appealing to the United States to liaise.
American objections are legitimate: Syria has long been a state sponsor of terrorism and Bashar al-Assad’s regime has yet to eliminate its threatening behavior toward their neighbor to the west, Israel.
However, the U.S. has aligned itself with unsavory dictators and repressive governments for years. Performed largely to blunt global communism, these repugnant associations, which cannot be denied, achieved an end with the demise of Soviet communism. Although forming a union with rogue nations may be loathsome and would raise eyebrows, it would be a momentary exercise which could lead to the demise of ISIS.
Instead of competing against Russia, Syria and Iran and Iraq, the U.S. should coordinate with them.
[Reuters] [Wall Street Journal] [AP] [Photo courtesy Theconversation.com]