Iraq says it will share military intelligence and security information with Syria, Iran and Russia to fight Islamic State.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the intelligence group will focus on "monitoring the movements of the terrorists...and degrading their capacity."
No details on the new arrangement were made available, but it is a clear sign of growing Russian influence in the region.
Moscow has sent fighter planes and other equipment to an air base in Syria in what U.S. military officials say looks like an effort to protect its own assets that are already there. But Secretary of State John Kerry has said Russia's true intentions in Syria are still unclear
A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State in Iraq, Colonel Steve Warren, says the U.S. objects to Syria being part of the intelligence-sharing group.
"We recognize that Iraq has an interest in sharing information on ISIL (Islamic State) with other governments in the region who are also fighting ISIL. We do not support the presence of Syrian government officials who are part of a regime that has brutalized its own citizens," Warren said.
In New York. Secretary Kerry said efforts to fight Islamic State need to be coordinated and that the new group is not there yet.