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Iraqi Official: Baghdad May Request Russian Air Strikes On IS

An Iraqi lawmaker says Baghdad may soon request Russian air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.

Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the Iraqi parliament's Defense and Security Committee, said on October 7 in Baghdad that "I think the upcoming few days or weeks Iraq will be forced to ask Russia to launch air strikes and that depends on their success in Syria."

He added that "we are seeking to see Russia have a bigger role in Iraq," adding, "definitely a bigger role than the Americans [have now]."

Zamili, a Shi'a who was a member of the radical Shi'ite Sadrist Movement, was the deputy health minister in 2006-07 and suspected of involvement in the abduction of Sunnis.

Asked later on October 7 whether Moscow had received any official request from Baghdad for Russian air strikes against the IS group in Iraq, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered "no."

Based on reporting by Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and Interfax

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