Syria Will Allow Iraq to Hit ISIS Targets in Syria Without Pre-Approval

Iraq PM suggests bigger role in fighting ISIS after US withdrawal

Top Iraqi officials are being sent to Damascus to meet with the Assad government, according to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. This comes with Abdul Mahdi talking up the idea of Iraq escalating its role against ISIS after the US withdrawal from Syria.

Syria seems to be responding quite favorably to this. Syrian state media reported on Sunday that President Assad has authorized the Iraqi military to carry out attacks against ISIS targets inside Syria without any pre-approval or permission.

This would be a substantial change for eastern Syria, as the Syrian government has never authorized US involvement at all, and the US has gone out of their way not to get Syrian approval for strikes.

It also makes sense for Syria, however, to embrace the Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi government’s involvement in fighting ISIS, as it gives the appearance of bringing them into an anti-ISIS alliance that includes Lebanon’s Hezbollah and both Syria and Iran’s governments, along with Shi’ite militias from elsewhere around the world.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.