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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid