Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iraq's National Security Advisor Falah al-Fayadh in Damascus. Photo: SANA news agency.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iraq’s top security advisor have discussed “direct” military cooperation on their shared border in the near future against the ISIS group in a meeting held on Thursday in Damascus.
Iraq’s National Security Advisor Falah al-Fayadh has delivered a verbal message from the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to the Syrian President in which he called for military cooperation between the countries, Syrian state-run SANA news agency reported.
“The prospect for a direct cooperation between the Iraqi and Syrian army in the near [future] in the war against terror was discussed in a shared way between the two countries,” SANA wrote.
This comes as Iraq’s mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi has launched a fresh offensive that is aimed at clearing the border areas from ISIS about a week ago.
The two leaders emphasized the importance of the bilateral relations in their war against the “terrorist” groups “especially with regard to coordinating efforts in fighting the terrorist ISIS group on the shared border between the two countries.”
President Assad and Fayadh discussed “practical and operational steps for military cooperation between the two armies on both sides of the border,” in light of the advances made by the Iraqi forces in Mosul.
President Assad was also quoted as saying that the progress made by both countries militarily is an “important” step towards returning “security and stability” to the region, adding that they have a common war and enemy that seeks to “divide the states of the region” through what he called terrorist groups.
The two countries, along with Russia and Iran, share what has been called Baghdad Operation Room where they share intelligence in between them.
The Syrian air force conducted a number of airstrikes against ISIS positions in Raqqa and along the Syrian-Iraqi border based on intelligence gathered by the four countries on April 14.
Iraq’s Joint Command released a statement then claiming that the airstrikes targeted areas where “prominent terrorists” in ISIS-held Raqqa, Abu Kamal in Deir ez Zor, and al-Dashisha village close to the Iraqi border, were present.
Iraqi PM Abadi also ordered airstrikes against ISIS positions in February inside Syria for the first time since the country started to fight against the extremist group in 2014.