Russia will consider extending its air strikes against militants in Syria to Iraq if it receives such a request from Baghdad, the RIA news agency quoted the head of the country’s upper chamber of parliament as saying on Tuesday.
The speaker, Valentina Matviyenko, said Russia had so far not received such a request from the Iraqi government.
“In case of an official address from Iraq to the Russian Federation, the leaders of our country would study the political and military expediency of our Air Force’s participation in an air operation. Presently we have not received such an address,” Matviyenko told reporters on Tuesday during an official visit to Jordan. She also asked the press “to stop reading tea leaves” before actual events take place.
“I want to emphasize that Russia has no other political objectives and no interests other than the defeat of ISIS [formerly ISIS/ISIL] and that differs us from other nations that participate in another coalition,” Interfax news agency quoted Matviyenko as saying at a meeting with the head of the Jordanian Senate, President Abdur-Ra’uf Rawabdeh.
She also said that Russian authorities understood the necessity of political reforms in Syria, but the final decision on the nature of these reforms and future head of the Syrian state must be made by Syrian people without any external pressure or direct interference of foreign nations.
During the meeting with her Jordanian colleague, Matviyenko stated that Russia was calling upon all states that see the Islamic State as a threat to join the information center in Baghdad used by Russian, Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian security specialists and military. She added that Russia was ready for other forms of cooperation with all nations that share the common goal of fighting international terrorism.