Follow us on:   

US to send more military personnel to Iraq
June 10, 2015, 5:43 am

Iraqi and US-led coalition fighter bombers have intensified targeting of ISIL positions in Fallujah. Five civilians were killed in one such air strike on May 28 [Xinhua]

Iraqi and US-led coalition fighter bombers have intensified targeting of ISIL positions in Fallujah. Five civilians were killed in one such air strike on May 28 [Xinhua]


(With updates in the second paragraph)

Even as fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) carried out deadly suicide attacks against the last government-held position in Fallujah in the restive Anbar province on Monday, the Obama administration was struggling to find a coherent policy to destroy the extremist group.

Late on Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that it wants to send an additional 500 troops to reinforce the already existing 3,000 US advisors and military trainers.

A White House spokesperson said on Wednesday morning that US President Barack Obama had approved sending up to 450 troops to Iraq in a training and advisory capacity.

The US contingent is also expected to establish a new military command center in Anbar where it will train an Iraqi battle force and assist in operational planning to retake the provincial capital Ramadi.

US troops are not expected to be dispatched to the field of battle.

Obama has been a strong supporter of continued US training of Iraqi troops, including Sunni tribal fighters.

“Where we’ve trained Iraqi forces directly and equipped them and we have a train-and-assist posture, they operate effectively,” Obama said on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in Germany on Monday.

“Where we haven’t [trained Iraqi forces], morale, lack of equipment, etc., may undermine the effectiveness of Iraqi security forces.”

The extra detachment comes amid criticism among military experts who say that the greater challenge is to persuade the Baghdad government to be more inclusive and work toward a non-sectarian political approach to lure Sunnis away from ISIL.

So far, the Iraqi military has had to rely on pro-Iran Shia militia to take on ISIL – an approach that has created discomfort in Washington and warnings that such measures could increase sectarian divisions.

The Pentagon announcement comes a week after an international conference in Paris, France was convened to bring more than 20 countries together in an anti-ISIL coalition.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi called on allies to provide more intelligence and advanced weapons. The US says it is ready to supply the Iraqi army with advanced anti-tank weapons, while Russia says it has been providing weapons and aircraft for more than a year.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti-Spam * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.