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 militants.
The announcement came before Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Kremlin.
Russia’s stance comes after Islamic State militants overran the strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi last weekend.
The lost 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. On Thursday the group seized full control of Palmyra in neighbouring Syria.
Meanwhile, Obama is adjusting his strategy in the country to focus more on training and equipping Sunnis to fight the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), according to The Wall Street Journal.
Pamela Engel contributed to this report.
(Reporting by Denis Dyomkin, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska)
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