Russian officials: Moscow to consider Iraq’s request for airstrikes against ISIS

In this photo taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, a Russian SU-34 bomber lands at an airbase Hmeimim in Syria. A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry has rejected claims that Russia in its airstrikes in Syria is targeting civilians or opposition forces. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told multiple media outlets last week that he would “welcome a Russian bombing campaign.”

Today, Russian Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko told reporters, “Russia would consider an Air Force operation against ISIS in Iraq if that country’s authorities make such a request.”

She added that Russia was ready for “other forms of cooperation” with all nations that share the common goal of fighting international terrorism, according to

The U.S.-led coalition has been bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq for more than a year, but Iraqi officials have repeatedly complained that the efforts are “insufficient” to resolutely turn back the militants. Many in the region have been applauding the decision for traditional U.S. rivals, Russia and Iran, to step in and “fill a vacuum.”

Russia increased its military presence in Syria in recent weeks– within hours of authorization by Russia’s parliament on Sept. 30 — targeting Islamic State positions. Russia gave the United States just an hour’s notice before it launched strikes in Syria last Wednesday. Syria’s civil war is nearing its fifth year and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Russia started to carry out “surgical airstrikes” on terrorist positions in Syria after a request for military aid was made by President Assad.

Massive explosions have left small Damascus suburbs in clouds of grey smoke and debris, as the country’s army makes its advance on rebel fighters. Soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army say they’re determined to continue their ‘national duty’ and “clean out the territories of the terrorist mercenaries.”

There are no doubt competing visions for Syria. The US says that Russia’s military involvement there is not helpful. Moscow is a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to Russian officials, Moscow would not be involved in any ground operations.

The country is now facing new threats including Islamic State militants attempting to form a caliphate along northern Iraq and Syria.

Ali Khedery, former special assistant to five U.S. ambassadors in Iraq, called the situation “an American national security horror show.”

“Normally, my blood would be boiling at the thought that everything we have fought for, for more than a decade has now been flushed away,” he said. “But I am now resigned to this reality and to the brave new world we live in.”

Prominent Republicans in Congress have criticized the President for some comments he’s made in the past about the situation in Syria… that for one the “world has always been messy, and now it’s been accentuated by social media.”

Sen. John McCain says Pres. Obama is either “in denial or overwhelmed.”

Matviyenko said that Russian authorities “understood the necessity of political reforms in Syria, but the final decision on the nature of these reforms….must be made by Syrian people without any external pressure or direct interference of foreign nations.”


  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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