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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs