Russia offered visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi military and other aid on Thursday to help push back Islamic State militants who have made further sweeping gains in both Iraq and Syria this week.

The advances by IS, which captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi last weekend and on Thursday was tightening its grip on the historic city of Palmyra in neighboring Syria, have exposed the shortcomings of Iraq’s army and the limitations of U.S. air strikes.

In going ahead with his visit to Moscow despite the worsening security crisis, Abadi said he had wanted to underline the importance of his country’s ties with Russia, adding that he had disregarded “certain forces” advising him to cancel the trip. […]