News / Middle East

    US Deploys Military Advisers to Northern Iraq

    • Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence in Iraq, take refuge in the southeastern Turkish town of Silopi, near the Turkish-Iraqi border crossing of Habur, Aug. 12, 2014.
    • Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, Aug. 11., 2014.
    • A view of the town of Snoun that was recently seized by Islamic State militants, as seen from Dukra village, Aug. 11, 2014.
    • Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate, Aug. 11, 2014.
    • Displaced children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State ride on a donkey as they head towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate, Aug. 11, 2014.



       
    Events in Iraq
    VOA News

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says about 130 more U.S. military advisers have been deployed to northern Iraq, to assess ways in which Washington can help Baghdad deal with resurgent Islamist extremists.

    Hagel, speaking Tuesday at a U.S. military base in California, stressed that the role of the inter-service is limited to advising Iraqi security forces.  

    He said the deployment to the northern city of Irbil "is not a combat boots-on-the-ground operation," adding that the team will perform an in-depth Iraqi security assessment in the north.

    Sinjar, IraqSinjar, Iraq
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    Sinjar, Iraq
    Sinjar, Iraq

    The Pentagon announced a similar deployment of up to 300 military advisers to Baghdad in June.

    In Brussels, meanwhile, the 28-member European Union failed to agree on a deal to supply weapons to Iraqi Kurds battling militants from the Islamic State grouping.  

    But the EU said individual member countries can strike arms deals with Baghdad, as part of a push to blunt the militants' push in Iraq's north and west.

    Earlier this week, Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani asked the international community for help in fighting the militants, whose far-reaching and brutal offensive against Kurds and other minorities has sent shock waves through world capitals.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday joined a chorus of world leaders in calling for international protection for minorities fleeing the militant onslaught. Ban said he is dismayed by the group's "barbaric acts" as it has seized towns and cities across eastern Syria and northwest Iraq.

    With the help of Kurdish forces in the region, more than 20,000 of the refugees have managed to escape Sinjar in the past few days, but analysts say thousands more remain trapped without food or water.

    FILE - Iraq Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday called on political leaders to end crippling feuds that have let Islamic State militants seize a third of the country.FILE - Iraq Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday called on political leaders to end crippling feuds that have let Islamic State militants seize a third of the country.
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    FILE - Iraq Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday called on political leaders to end crippling feuds that have let Islamic State militants seize a third of the country.
    FILE - Iraq Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday called on political leaders to end crippling feuds that have let Islamic State militants seize a third of the country.

    In Baghdad, international backing grew Tuesday for Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi, picked Monday to form a new government in Baghdad.

    Kurdish President Barzani told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in a phone call that he is ready to work with Abadi to confront the nation's security threat.

    The United States, NATO, Saudi Arabia and Iran have voiced support for Abadi, countering incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's push to extend his eight-year rule with a third term.  

    Maliki has rapidly lost the support of the international community, and is widely accused of failing to unite Iraq's various factions during his eight-year tenure.

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    by: Tom Murphy from: Heartland America
    August 12, 2014 11:45 PM
    The US government needs to send in forward air controllers into Iraq that were so effective against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    by: RobertMorris from: USA
    August 12, 2014 9:52 PM
    It's good to know that Obama is working with the Ayatollah to keep the Shiites in power so the Kurds can't get free. No doubt his efforts to appease the Ayatollah will yield big benefits during the next nuclear talks and result in another deadline being ignored.
    Without a doubt Obama and Kerry are well ahead forthis years Chamberlin prize.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 12, 2014 7:18 PM
    THE WISE MAN said it;... WHY doesn't the US and western news media call the al-Baghdadi (ISIL) Sunni Muslim army what it is, (the ISIL Sunni Muslim army), that kills anybody who's not a Sunni Muslim, (and it's a Sunni Muslim religious war against all other religions), so the western news media, should quit repeating the US propaganda that it's something else...(In Reality)... they are foreign Sunni Muslim ultra extremists from all over the world, armed and trained by the US in Jordan and Turkey, to fight Shia Muslims Syria and Iraq....

    FACTUAL FACTS.... These tens of thousands of US armed and trained foreign Sunni Muslim ultra extremists from all over the world, (owe no loyalty to anyone), to the US, Syria, or Iraq, or anybody, and their only reason to fight, is to kill Shia Muslims (the filthy ones), and others of different religions, as a Sacred Warrior in the al-Baghdadi (ISIL) Sunni Muslim army, to form the Sunni Muslim "Caliphate of all Islam"... and to make Allah's word supreme in the world, and to restore the glory of Sunni Muslim Islam... (by killing all the Shia Muslims)...

    by: Chris from: USA
    August 12, 2014 4:42 PM
    Regardless of what good the U.S. does, the Arabs will still hate the West, especially the U.S. I am in support of the current U.S. action in Iraq to halt the ISIS atrocities. However, when eventually the atrocities calm down both ISIS and legitimate Iraq government will still hate the U.S. Consider all the lives of U.S. service men and women sacrificed to save the Iraqi people from Saddam's tyranny. How did Iraq thank the U.S.? Maliki said publicly the Iraqi people no longer wanted U.S. presence. Same thing in Afghanistan: the West saved them from the Taliban's radical Islamic practice but in the end Hamid Karzai went back and negotiated with the Taliban.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 12, 2014 1:56 PM
    USA supports Erdogan of Turkey, and he is little less than a terrorist. USA supports Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia and he is calling for jihad against Israel. All the weapons initially given to al Maliki have turned up in terrorist hands. How does USA determine whom to trust and whom not to trust? While it is necessary for USA to clean up the mess it has made in Iraq and Syria resulting in the ISIS crisis, commonsense shows it is time to let alone those islamist countries to find their footing and return to the comity of nations when they meet standard criteria for belonging to a world that is leaving primitivity and antiquity behind and launching into civilization of the 21st century.

    From Libya to Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan, the same problem looms - islamization; and it has left the peoples not one inch from Stone Age backwardness. Yet from Pakistan to Indonesia to Qatar to Yemen, the story is so much the same, people not allowed to live their lives of liberty and choices. Very unfortunately USA has been infiltrated by people with antiquated ideologies in islam and they are gradually influencing American public opinion and government policies in the name of democracy. While it maybe necessary to find an ally in Iraq through whom to contribute in defeating ISIS(L), USA should be careful not to make another mistake of choosing an unfriendly friend who run with hare and hunt with the hound, thus making USA's effort at restoring peace and quiet in the region futile.

    Right now the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Saud al-Faisal, supposedly an ally of the US, is in the forefront of calling another jihad against Israel, another US ally in the region, as his own way of being useful at the OIC meeting in Jeddah. Until the US can find a true friend who has peace in his mind and agenda of governmental policy, the region will continue to be a hot bed of treachery and evolution of deadly terror cells. Has the US been looking before it leaps, or does it jump in with two legs before it realizes it's in the wrong place - I mean when supporting PMs of allied countries like Iraq and others?

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
    August 12, 2014 1:30 PM
    Haider al Abadi's choice to succeed Nuri al Maliki as the next Iraqi premier is welcome. But the mega problems for Iraq are not going to be resolved overnight. It'll take a long time to c ome. For the national interests of Iraq, Maliki does necessiate to pave the path for al Abadi. Let's see how he does act; handling the current discrimens of his country which is parted; viz, remaining under the ISIL possession, hiatuses amongst the various communities in Iraq,........ the political groups of various communities are also included......If al Abadi would emerge successfully while that nation is battered by ISIL as well as the internceine political trifflings, even that remains in the Shi'te Dawa party itself?????

    by: Anonymous
    August 12, 2014 12:31 PM
    look at him... the Arab looks terrified..!!

    by: David1956 from: USA
    August 12, 2014 11:39 AM
    It seems remarkably foolhardy to rule out options in a dynamically evolving situation that could ultimately result in multiple attacks on American soil against civilian targets including children. Politics should be only one factor informing policy and it should be subordinate to national security and national welfare.

    by: RD from: Western US
    August 12, 2014 11:09 AM
    Why not allow US Mercenaries to go in and neutralize these groups? We're better armed better trained, we certainly could use the work, and these countries could use the relief.

    by: Joe Blow from: New York, USA
    August 12, 2014 10:57 AM
    I see, so the Airspace above Iraq isn't Iraq, ergo the bombing and aid missions conducted last-week don't count?

    Gotta love a politician that can say that w/ a straight face, don't you?
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