Iraq says it has reached an agreement with Russia, Iran and Syria to share intelligence in the fight against (Islamic State) Isis. The Iraqi military said that the deal comes with "increasing concern from Russia about thousands of Russian terrorists committing criminal acts within Isis".
The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed the deal. "It's a committee coordinating between the four countries, with representatives of each country, in the field of military intelligence and aimed at sharing and analysing information," spokesman Saad al-Hadith told AFP.
The deal comes with Russia increasing its military presence in Syria, and calling for the formation of an international coalition to back Assad and defeat Isis. But the US claims that Russian involvement could escalate the conflict.
US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are to meet on Monday at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York for talks on issues including the Syrian civil war. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zafir on Saturday, 26 September, to discuss Syria, the first time Iran has been included in diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syria crisis.
Russian state news agency Interfax quoted a Russian diplomatic source saying that the coordination centre would be led on a rotating basis by officials from the four countries, starting with Iraq. The source added that a committee might be formed in Baghdad to plan and coordinate operations by armed forces in the fight against Isis.