The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump is open to cooperating with Russia on combating the Islamic State extremist group, if Russia shares U.S. interests in doing so, but didn’t outline plans or a process for establishing joint military ventures or strikes.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, opened the door to possible cooperation during a news conference. “I think if there’s a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it’s Russia or anyone else, and we have a shared national interest in that, sure, we’ll take it,” he said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
The comment came on the same day Russia had claimed in a statement from Moscow that it had received U.S. intelligence information in conducting airstrikes with unidentified members of the U.S.-led coalition. The Pentagon, however, said it had not aided or cooperated with Russia.
The Russian defense ministry said that on Jan. 22, Russia’s air force had carried out strikes on ISIS near al-Bab with warplanes from the U.S.-led international coalition. The ministry said it received the coordinates of Islamic State targets from the U.S. over a hotline.
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Featured image courtesy of AP.