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Iraq unrest shows "total" failure of US-led invasion: Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the spectacular seizure of Iraqi cities by advancing jihadist fighters was a clear sign of the "total failure" of the US-led invasion.

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the spectacular seizure of Iraqi cities by advancing jihadist fighters was a clear sign of the "total failure" of the US-led invasion.

"The events in Iraq illustrate the total failure of the adventure involving the United States and Britain," Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying, referring to the 2003 invasion that led to the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

"The unity of Iraq is at risk."

"We are very worried by what is happening in Iraq. We warned long ago that the adventure undertaken by the Americans and the British would not end well."

"We stand in solidarity with the Iraqi leadership, the Iraqi people who should restore peace and security in their country but actions of our Western partners cause a huge amount of questions."

Fighters from the Sunni Muslim Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have spearheaded a major offensive that began late Monday, overrunning several provinces. On Thursday they were advancing on Baghdad.

The United States said it "stands ready" to help Iraq, while Britain said it would not be sending troops back to the war-ravaged country.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday that the insurgency proved the civil war in Syria was "infecting" the region.

Lavrov said Hague's comments were the height of cynicism.

"We've known that our British colleagues possess a unique ability to distort anything and everything but even I had not expected such cynicism from them," he told reporters.

Lavrov separately discussed Iraq with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem, the Russian foreign ministry said.

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