Iraq does not want Russian help.

According to the U.S. top military officer, Iraq is not planning to turn to Russia for airstrikes and other military assistance in its fight against Islamic State militants.

“Both the minister of defense and the prime minister said absolutely there is no request right now for the Russians to support them,” Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of theJoint Chiefs of Staff, said following his visit to Iraq. 

“I said it would make it very difficult for us to be able to provide the kind of support you need if the Russians were here conducting operations as well providing air support,” Dunford said he told Iraq’s leaders.

Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, views the U.S.-led coalition as the country’s main ally in its fight against Islamic State militants, said Dunford.

Dunford met with al-Abadi, Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi and other officials in his first overseas trip as chairman of the joint chiefs.

The coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State militants for more than a year in Iraq and Syria.

The United States has been critical of Russia’s airstrikes, saying they are aimed at bolstering the regime of Bashar Assad and not at defeating the Islamic State.

Pentagon continues to believe that Russia's strategy in Syria is counterproductive and their support for the Assad regime will only make Syria's civil war worse.

  Russia, Iraq, Syria