News / USA

US Defense Chief Concerned About Iranian Weapons in Iraq

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, chats with US Generals Anthony Rock, left, and Lloyd Austin during a stop in southern Afghanistan, July 10, 2011
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, chats with US Generals Anthony Rock, left, and Lloyd Austin during a stop in southern Afghanistan, July 10, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says the United States is very concerned about Iran providing weapons to militants in Iraq, as he prepares to meet with Iraqi leaders about the future of U.S. troops in the country.

Panetta told a group of U.S. soldiers in Baghdad Monday that the U.S. cannot allow the arming of Iraqi insurgents to continue, and will address the situation directly.

U.S. officials accuse Iran of supplying Shi'ite militiamen with weapons that killed most of the 15 U.S. troops killed in June.  It was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Iraq in two years.

Panetta is scheduled to meet with Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and press them to decide whether they want U.S. troops to remain in the country beyond a deadline set for the end of this year.  He will also urge the leaders to do more to fight the Shi'ite militias.

The United States is due to withdraw its remaining 46,000 soldiers from Iraq by December 31 under a 2008 agreement with the Iraqi government. But U.S. and Iraqi officials have expressed concern about the ability of Iraqi government forces to cope with security after the pullout.

President Jalal Talabani says Iraq's political parties will decide within two weeks whether to ask the United States to keep some troops in Iraq after the deadline.

One faction in Maliki's Shi'ite-led government already has expressed opposition to such a move - the political bloc of radical anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say three rockets hit Baghdad's fortified Green Zone Monday, but no casualties were reported.

On Sunday, the United States opened a consulate in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region in an effort to lure more American investors to one of the most stable and dynamic regions of the country.

To coincide with the opening, Marriott signed an agreement with Kurdish officials for a 200-room hotel and 75 executive apartments in Irbil to be built over a three-year period.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope Condemns IS 'Persecution' of Minorities

Pope delivers annual 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and the world) blessing, appeals for end to conflicts in Africa, dialogue in Middle East, condemns Taliban attack in Pakistan More

China Reduces Number of Crimes Punishable by Death

Earlier this year China announced plans to remove nine crimes from the list of capital offenses, including counterfeiting, fraudulent fund-raising and forcing others into prostitution More

Analysis: Controversial Comedy Contains Dead-serious Dialogue

Most likely any North Koreans who might see 'The Interview' would be horribly offended and outraged, as well as confused More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.
Video

Video Russian Moves Provide New Mission for NATO

Russia’s more aggressive military posture in Europe during the past year has pushed NATO to take new steps to strengthen its defenses, providing it, analysts say, with a much-needed new mission. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid