ISIS War: China Offers Military Support To Iraq But Declines Joining U.S.-Led Coalition

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Iraqi security forces personnel fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants, in Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad October 26, 2014. Picture taken October 26, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
IN PHOTO: Iraqi security forces personnel fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants, in Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad October 26, 2014. Picture taken October 26, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer REUTERS/Stringer

China has offered military assistance to Iraq to help government forces fight ISIS militants. Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari has revealed that his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, has expressed Beijing's interest to assist in launching airstrikes but declined to join the U.S.-led coalition forces.

The discussion between the two defence ministers took place in the UN anti-terrorism meeting in New York in September, according to Financial Times. The offer of China may be a deviation from its official policy of non-involvement in the domestic affairs of other countries, despite the fact that it sells military weapons. Jafari said China's policy does not allow it to become a member of any international coalition. The Iraqi defence minister welcomed his Chinese counterpart's offer of help since Iraq is ready to cooperate with other countries not part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

Hong Lei, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, said China has expressed support for Iraq's effort to boost its ability to fight terrorism through intelligence information-sharing and personnel training. He refused to say anything about China providing airstrike assistance or supplying missiles to Iraq.

According to RT News, China will lose billions if ISIS militants can take control of all of Iraq's oil fields. China is the biggest investor in the oil industry of Iraq. In the earlier weeks of encounters between government forces and ISIS fighters, China National Petroleum Corporation had no choice but to leave its oilfields in Syria.

The advance of ISIS has slowed down as the militants suffer military setbacks as a consequence of U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. However, the city of Mosul in Iraq remains under ISIS control since Iraq has made little progress in reclaiming lost territories from the terror group.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress has approved a massive annual defence policy bill on Dec12, including emergency funds for training and military operations in Iraq and Syria worth $5 billion. U.S. President Barack Obama has requested the budget to fight ISIS.

Al Arabiya reported that about $3.5 billion of the funds will be used to deploy U.S. forces as part of an operation, known as "Inherent Resolve," with $1.6 billion to be used to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish forces for two years.  

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