Putin backs Iraqi government in war against ISIL
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed support for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in its war against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
According to a statement released by the Kremlin, the two leaders spoke on the phone on Friday as Maliki informed Putin about the measures of his government to drive out the militants from the northern parts of the country.
"Putin confirmed Russia's complete support for the efforts of the Iraqi government to speedily liberate the territory of the republic from terrorists," the statement read.
"It was noted that the activities of extremists conducting military operations on the territory of Syria has taken on a cross-border character and now threaten the security of the whole region," the statement added.
On June 10, the ISIL militants took control of the Nineveh provincial capital Mosul. They later took control of the city of Tikrit, located some 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.
Iraqi armed forces have managed to regain control of the Abu Tayban region in the city of Ramadi and almost all parts of the strategic town of Tal Afar in Nineveh province.
Iraqi soldiers have also regained control of the Baiji oil refinery in the strategic Salahuddin province after the ISIL militants attacked the oil facility earlier this week.
The ISIL militants have vowed to continue their raid towards Baghdad.
Maliki has said that the country’s security forces would confront the terrorists, calling the seizure of Mosul a “conspiracy". He has also blamed Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, and denounced the Al Saud regime as a major supporter of global terrorism.