Reports over the weekend of Iraq agreeing to intelligence sharing deals with Russia have been confirmed, with the first Russian military experts reports to have arrived now, and Russia openly discussing a plan to create a Baghdad-based “information center” for the sake of fighting ISIS in both Iraq and Syria
Russian spokesman Sergey Peskov said that it was “no secret” that Russia had invited the US to take part in the new information center, but that so far the US had not participated at all in such discussions. Nor, indeed, is there any indication they’re going to.
Indeed, US officials yesterday indicated that they’re going to greatly reduce their information sharing with Iraq following the Iraqi government deal with Russia, with one official griping that Iraq was already “well-served” with US intelligence and shouldn’t have accepted the Russian offer.
Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi defended the deal, which is going to include Iraq, Iran, Russia, and Syria, saying that the war with ISIS requires cooperating with everyone they can, adding that he welcomes Russia’s increased interest in fighting ISIS.
Abadi did not, however, address the reality that this increased cooperation comes at the cost of less support from the US, though with the war going so poorly, he may feel that US support isn’t near the panacea it was presented as at the start of the conflict.