Assad to form “united front” with Iraqi government to combat ISIS

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Syrian President Bashar Assad. File photo

ARA News

Damascus, Syria – On Tuesday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on the Iraqi government to cooperate with Damascus and form a united front against “terrorism”, as both countries are engaged in fighting the militant group of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).

Assad’s call came during a meeting with the Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in Damascus.

“Consultation and coordination between Syria and Iraq reinforces the successes of their people and their armed forces in the face of terrorism,” Assad said. 

On the other hand, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was quoted by the Syrian state agency SANA as saying: “Syria will emerge from the crisis stronger and strategic relations between the two countries will continue to evolve.”

Unlike Syrian regime’s forces, Iraqi forces receive Western support. The U.S.-led international coalition has so far refused to cooperate with or provide any direct support to the Assad regime in the fight against ISIS. 

“Assad is trying to form such a front with Baghdad in the hopes of attracting Western attention and gain cooperation from the coalition in order to decrease the internal pressures from opposition forces,” said Firas Hammoud, a Syrian political analyst.

“The Syrian regime is trying to play a more effective role in the anti-ISIS campaign, but needs to make sure to receive Western support, which basically starts with lifting the current sanctions on Damascus,” Hammoud argued. 

 

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi

Source: ARA News 

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