News / Middle East

    US Diplomat: IS Suicide Car Bomb Attacks, Sign of 'Desperation'

    A victim of a bombing attack receives treatment at the Imam Ali Hospital in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 29, 2016.
    A victim of a bombing attack receives treatment at the Imam Ali Hospital in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 29, 2016.
    VOA News

    Suicide car bomb attacks on Iraqi security forces in the western Baghdad outskirts of Abu Ghraib that killed eight Monday are a sign of Islamic State (IS) desperation, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart E. Jones told VOA Alhurra-Iraq. The blasts were targeting a security checkpoint.

    “We’re going continue to see Daesh make desperate attacks like they did today in Abu Ghraib, and that’s serious. They have to be addressed,” Jones said, using a derogatory name for IS.

    The blasts followed a suicide bomb blast earlier in the day at a funeral north of the capital that killed at least 24 people. IS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers north of Baghdad.

    But overall IS is losing, Jones said. “Daesh has not been able to launch a significant attack against the Iraqi security forces, and everywhere the Iraqi security forces confront Daesh, Daesh is now being pushed back. We saw that up in Ramadi. We’ve seen it up in the north.”

    Assault on Mosul

    The Pentagon says an assault on Mosul in Iraq is not something that will happen “in the deep, deep future” after the capture of Shaddadi in northeastern Syria last week.

    Shaddadi was "a critical node for IS training and logistics, as well as for its oil enterprise," U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told reporters Monday.
    "By encircling and taking this town, we are also working to sever the last major artery between Raqqa and Mosul, an operation critical to dissecting IS's parent tumor into two parts in Iraq and Syria.”

    Carter added that the U.S. and coalition partners are using cyber tools to disrupt IS's ability to operate on the virtual battlefield.

    He said Iraqi soldiers will take the lead in Mosul, which will be similar to the reclamation of Ramadi in December, but larger.

    Jones said U.S. and coalition partners “are very proud” to be supporting the Iraqi security forces with airstrikes, weapons and intelligence gathering. He added, “We’ve now trained over 20,000 Iraqi security force members and we’re seeing the difference on the ground… Daesh is not really able to stand up and fight against the Iraqi security forces anymore.”

    Lessons learned in Ramadi

    Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford acknowledged that after Ramadi, the U.S.-led coalition will be making some changes. "There's a couple of things we want to do. One is we want to position ourselves to most effectively support combined arms for the Iraqis as they conduct operations, and the second piece is we want to make sure that we have uninterrupted flow of logistic support," he said.

    Jones admitted that the struggle against IS has a long way to go and that the campaign will be a difficult one. As in Ramadi, he said the help of local of fighters will be critical. In Ramadi, they helped the Iraqi forces get through the city, a dangerous mission that incurred a lot of casualties.

    “I don’t think that any of these campaigns are going to be easy, but we are seeing that Daesh is weaker and weaker with each step,” Jones said.

    Food aid from U.S.

    The United States will give Iraq another $20 million in aid, intended for supplying food rations for vulnerable Iraqi families.

    U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones said Monday that, with the additional funding, the U.S. government is helping the United Nations World Food Program reach 1.5 million displaced and conflict-affected Iraqis throughout the country.

    The family baskets include food to be cooked — such as flour, rice, oil, and dry peas and beans — while the ready-to-eat baskets are for displaced families who do not have access to kitchens. They include canned meat, canned peas and beans, dates and biscuits.

    Since 2014, the United States has provided nearly $624 million in humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people.

     

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    February 29, 2016 9:15 PM
    If USA wants durable peace then they have to supply Fighter Planes and equipment for which they have received money in advance in 2009.
    Some time i smile what USA is doing in Middle East, to create problems so USA can sell war equipment with heavy margin and conditions.
    USA use to get money in advance for War Equipment. This is Good Marketing Policies.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora