Committee may be created in Baghdad to plan military operations against ISIS

Vladimir Putin. Source: Kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin. Source: Kremlin.ru

The creation of an information center to counter ISIS in Baghdad, on which Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria have reached an agreement, is a result of old agreements.

A coordination committee planning operations against ISIS may be eventually created on the basis of the information center Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq have agreed to open in Baghdad, a military diplomatic source has told Interfax on Sept. 26.

"In the near future, the center will be tasked to create conditions for the establishment on its basis of a coordination committee to plan operations and to control units of the armed forces of Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq, first and foremost, for fighting ISIL," the source said.

The source said that the agreement to open the information center in Baghdad was "an important step in joint efforts of regional countries in the fight against international terrorism, ISIL in the first turn."


A result of old agreements

The creation of such a center is a result of old agreements, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, former head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Department on International Military Cooperation, said.

"Certain coordination of military actions, especially between Syria, Russia and Iran, was planned. Now, the functions have been distributed, and that can be called kind of an operative planning headquarters," Ivashov told Interfax.

He reiterated that the role of Russia and Iran will be to form "recommendations regarding specific military actions to the countries at war: Iraq and Syria”

Ivashov said Russia does not breach any international treaties by participating in the creation of an information center in Baghdad.

"We should pay less attention to the Americans. The right to individual and collective defense is allowed by the UN Charter. Everyone understands that all this story against Syria and Iraq was started by the Americans and they are unlikely to help with anything," the general said.

He added that European countries and China should be involved in the work of the center.


An effective step in coordination of fight against ISIS

The creation by Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria of an information center to coordinate the fight against ISIS can be very effective as the first step, Vladimir Sazhin, a researcher with the Institute for oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Science and an expert on the countries of the Middle and Near East, said on Sept. 26.

“This measure is undoubtedly an effective beginning. The creation of a coalition would be much more difficult because it would have one command and the compatibility of combat operations would be needed. And that is very difficult, judging from the experience of many coalitions. In this sense, the creation of a coordination center involving representatives of Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria would be the best option," Sazhin told Interfax.

At the same time, the question inevitably arises about dialogue and interaction with the coalition of countries that is virtually led by the U.S. "Without such interaction, it is realistic to achieve only some of the goals, but it will be impossible to fully destroy ISIS," the expert added.

The expert said dialogue between all forces in the region and outside it, which consider ISIS to be their enemy, would be optimal. "It would be expedient to discuss certain issues with the Americans and the military Syrian opposition, and other forces that are fighting against ISIS," Sazhin said.

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