Iraqi military agrees deal to help combat 'Islamic State'

The Iraqi military has announced an agreement on "security and intelligence cooperation" with Russia, Iran and Syria to help combat the so-called 'Islamic State' group.

In a statement, Iraq says the co-ordination will "help and co-operate in collecting information about the terrorist Daesh group," using the Arabic acronym for the 'Islamic State' group.

Iraq has long had close ties with neighbouring Iran and has coordinated with Tehran in fighting the advance of IS - which controls about a third of Iraq and Syria.

Iranian commanders have helped lead Iraqi Shiite militiamen in combat.

The agreement with Russia comes at a time when Moscow is ramping up its involvement in Syria in defence of its ally Bashar Assad, with Russian soldiers on the ground in Syria, according to activists.

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