News / Middle East

US Cautiously Helps Iraq Fight Militants

US Cautiously Helps Iraq Fight Militantsi
X
January 14, 2014 5:14 AM
The United States says it is committed to helping Iraq fight militants but will not, for now, transfer the bulk of military assistance that the government of Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki has requested. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
US Cautiously Helps Iraq Fight Militants
Luis Ramirez
The United States announced that it is committed to helping Iraq fight militants but will not, for now, transfer the bulk of military assistance that the government of Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki has requested.
 
The U.S. affirmed its commitment to the Iraqi government after militants linked to al-Qaida overran Fallujah and other areas of Iraq's Anbar province earlier this year.
 
Washington is accelerating delivery of about 100 "Hellfire" air-to-ground missiles, aerostat balloons and about 10 small unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.
 
Pentagon spokesman U.S. Navy Commander Bill Speaks said the U.S aims to build Iraqi capacity.
 
“All of this is intended to increase the Iraqi military's ability to have a robust surveillance and intelligence capability as they counter al-Qaida,” said Speaks.
 
However, the Hellfire missiles can be used only for precise, narrow targets, and the toy-sized unarmed drones are far less powerful than the tanks and Apache helicopters Iraq has been requesting from the U.S. for a long time.
 
The U.S. has complained about what it claims are Maliki’s heavy-handed tactics against his political opponents.
 
Analyst Tim Brown of globalsecurity.org said Washington does not trust the Maliki government with more powerful weapons.
 
“The United States is concerned that the Iraqi government, without the proper guidance and training, might misuse these weapons either accidentally or they might use them to target other ethnic groups and so the concern is that this the technology that the United States is going to be able to keep a close rein on,” said Brown.
 
Iraq's ambassador to the United States, Lukman al-Faily, said he is working to convince U.S. leaders to release more equipment. 
 
“The key question I'll be raising now in Congress and others is, 'Is Iraq an ally of yours?'  If it is, then we need to have that privilege of an ally.  If we are not, then what do we need to do to become that ally?” said Faily.
 
What the U.S. seeks is a change in the Maliki government's behavior, according to analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
 
“This is not a rise back of al-Qaida. This is a much broader reaction to what has been a steadily more repressive and authoritarian government to the chronic, increasing misuse of the security forces,” said Cordesman.
 
U.S. officials maintain that war materiel alone is not going to resolve Iraq's problems; they are adopting what they say is a holistic approach, combining military aid with advice and training for Iraqi officials at the ministerial level. 
 
The U.S. has ruled out sending combat forces. Since the 2011 withdrawal, however, the number of U.S. military advisers in Iraq has steadily risen to as many as 200.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid