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UN enthusiastic about idea of Baghdad-based center to coordinate anti-IS efforts

September 28, 2015, 13:49 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said the new centrer would be tasked to coordinate anti-terrorist efforts of the four countries
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UN Headquarters in New York

UN Headquarters in New York

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, September 28. /TASS/. The United Nations is enthusiastic about the idea of establishing a Russia-Iraq-Iran-Syria coordination center in Baghdad to counter the terrorist organization Islamic State, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told TASS on Monday.

He said so far he did not knew all the details but pledged the United Nations took efforts to inspire its member states to cooperate in anti-terrorist efforts.

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the new centrer would be tasked to coordinate anti-terrorist efforts of the four countries.

A military-diplomatic source told TASS earlier that Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq had established an information center in Baghdad for coordinating efforts in fighting against the Islamic State (IS). The center will be tasked to collect, verify and analyze current information on the situation in the Middle East in the context of the fight against the Islamic State and convey relevant data to the countries’ military command, the source said. According to the source, successful activities of the center will create conditions for forming a coordination committee in the future tasked with planning operations and managing units of armed forces of these four countries fighting against IS.

Presidency in the center will pass over to army officers of the four countries on a rotation basis every three months. The Iraqi side will hold presidency in the next three months, the source said.

The Islamic State is an Islamic terrorist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it was known under the name the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and operated mainly in Iraq and Syria. In June 2014, the Islamic State announced the establishment of an "Islamic caliphate" (a state with a Sharia form of government) on the territories it had seized and reduced its name to the Islamic State.

According to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group numbers around 30,000 people. The Iraqi authorities say however it has up to 200,000 gunmen. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Islamic State militants reportedly control up to 40% of the Iraq’s territory and about 50% of the Syrian territory.

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