Post link 22 May 2015, 13:28
AMANDA MACIAS AND REUTERS MAY 21, 2015, 3:15 PM uk.businessinsider.com

Russia is ready to supply weapons to Iraq, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday, as the country struggles to halt advances by Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) militants.

The announcement came before Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Kremlin.

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Russia's stance comes after ISIS overran the strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi last weekend.

The loss of Ramadi is one of the most significant setbacks for the Baghdad government, exposing the weakness of Iraq's army and the limitations of U.S. air strikes.

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The Institute of Study of War

On Thursday the group seized full control of Palmyra in neighboring Syria.

Meanwhile, Obama appears to be adjusting his strategy in the country to focus more on training and equipping Sunnis to fight the Islamic State, according to The Wall Street Journal. Empowering Sunnis is considered crucial to defeating ISIS, which itself is a Sunni extremist group.

Ramadi is in a majority Sunni region, meaning that Sunni fighters would be far more effective against the group than Shi'ite militias, which would only amplify the sectarian aspects of Iraq's conflict.

Pamela Engel contributed to this report.

(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska)

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Topic edited 1 times, last edit by RouTe, 22 May 2015, 13:31  

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