Syria Launches Air Strike Against ISIS, Iraqi PM Welcomes Move

Defense | June 26, 2014, Thursday // 15:19|  views

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki believes the combined efforts of Iraq and Syria could help in the fight against Sunni militants holding a number of towns across both countries. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Syrian fighter jets bombed positions of Islamist insurgents near the border with Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki backs actions of Damascus against the militants led by Sunni extremist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) who control significant parts of the country's territory and also have some gains in Syria.

Maliki elaborated Baghdad did not ask Syria to strike the town of Qaim, located in both Syria and Iraq, but encouraged Damascus to continue its attacks on ISIS targets.

"[Syrian forces] carry out their strikes and we carry out ours and the final winners are our two countries," he told the BBC.

The two countries are seeking to resist militants' attempt to create an Islamist state based on Sharia law in territories it currently controls.

Iraq earlier made a request that the US carry out strikes.

The Pentagon sent 300 military advisers to Iraq, but ruled out providing further military assistance, despite President Barack Obama's earlier hints that Washington sees carrying out air strikes as an option.

White House officials have shown preference for a political dialogue and have recently increased calls on Maliki to forge a coalition of national unity also including Sunni and Kurdish representatives to deescalate social tensions caused by dissatisfaction with a Shia-dominated government.

Iraq's Prime Minister has so far refused to succumb to pressure, but appeals for a broad government have also become more frequent within the country.

Al-Jazeera quotes influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as saying a national emergency cabinet is of top priority of the cabinet is to "fulfill the legitimate demands of the moderate Sunnis".

In his view, it should not be based on the usual sectarian quotes.

The UN reported Tuesday the number of Iraqis killed in the conflict that erupted over the past weeks had exceeded 1000.

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Tags: Iraq, Syria, Nouri Al-Maliki, air strikes, Baghdad, Damascus, Muqtada al-Sadr, ISIS, Islamist, Sharia, Shia, Sunni, Kurdish


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