Iraq says it has reached a deal to share intelligence with Russia and Iran as part of an effort to defeat the Islamic State group, which controls large parts of the region.
French warplanes also carried out their first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, hitting targets identified during reconnaissance missions over the past two weeks, according to the BBC.
A statement from Iraq’s joint operations command on Saturday said the intelligence sharing had come as a result of “increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh (Islamic State).”
It follows last week’s Russia’s forward deployment of warplanes at Latakia, in western Syria.
Reuters writes: “The move could give Moscow more sway in the Middle East. It has stepped up its military involvement in Syria in recent weeks while pressing for Damascus to be included in international efforts to fight Islamic State, a demand Washington rejects.”
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said with his nation’s first airstrikes it “struck in Syria this morning an Islamic State training camp which threatened the security of our country.”
“What we want is to know what is being prepared against us and what is being done against the Syrian population,” Hollande said.