News / Middle East

US Military Advisers: Iraq Assessments to Take Weeks

Members of the Iraqi security forces take their positions during an intensive security deployment west of Baghdad, Iraq, June 24, 2014.
Members of the Iraqi security forces take their positions during an intensive security deployment west of Baghdad, Iraq, June 24, 2014.

In the southern Iraqi city of Basra, hundreds of fresh recruits train, preparing to join the battle against Sunni militants who have been strengthening their grip on large swaths of the north and east.

Meanwhile, in the capital city of Baghdad, officials marked the arrival of more U.S. military advisers.  

“Their primary mission now is to assess the capabilities of the Iraqi army in and around Baghdad,” said Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

The U.S. now has six teams – with a total of 90 commandos – in the capital, but they’ll need two or three weeks to complete assessments, Warren said.

Another 90 U.S. military personnel have started running a Joint Operations Center in Baghdad.  Reconnaissance flights also continue around the clock, though, for now, no U.S. airstrikes have been ordered.

As many as 300 U.S. military advisers ultimately may be sent to assist the Iraqi military’s fight against insurgents.  

Reports of Syrian airstrikes this week inside Iraq are cause for concern.

“The answer to Iraq’s problems right now is not military. It’s certainly not Syrian airstrikes in western Iraq.  The answer is a political solution,” Warren said.

The Syrian strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, also drew criticism from U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

“Iraq’s security situation cannot and should not be resolved by the Assad regime, by airstrikes from the Assad regime, or by militias funded and supported by other countries in the region,” Harf said.

Harf's mention of "other countries" was an apparent reference to Iran, a longtime supporter of Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

Pentagon officials refuse to discuss reports that Iran is flying surveillance drones from an airfield in Baghdad. But they say the U.S. is continuing to provide Iraq with supplies and ammunition, including another 200 Hellfire missiles to be delivered over the coming weeks.


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 27, 2014 1:31 AM
How do you know Harf was not referring to UAE and Saudi Arabia's support of ISIS? What makes you think she was only referring to Iran?


by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 26, 2014 11:22 PM
So Col Warren says the problem isn't the Iraq military, that the answer is a political solution. That's what all battles need, a political solution.........oh........political solutions create the battles. Maybe Warren meant that the problem needs a religious solution......oh.......religion IS the cause of the battles. Hehe, this is too funny while people are being slaughtered and raped, that they need 3 weeks to 'assess'! They might as well go to Kuwait, because in 3 weeks, Iraq will be ISIL!!!!! Here's a recording of the advisors with Maliki:

(Maliki) OK, advisors, what do you advise?
(Advisors) Duck!
(Maliki) OK, advisors, what's next?
(Advisors) RUN!!!!
(Maliki) If I can't duck and run, what then?
(Advisors) Convert to Sunni Islam before it's too late!
(Maliki) Thanks, advisors, you guys are the best! Who wants some more hummus?


by: meanbill from: USA
June 26, 2014 8:29 PM
MY OPINION? -- Iraq needs the warplanes and helicopter gunships that Iraq bought from the US in 2012, that the US has never delivered... and Maliki said, if he'd had those warplanes and helicopter gunships when the (ISIL) first invaded Iraq, he'd defeated them.... CRAZY isn't it? .. the US supplied them to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel, in the last (2) years?

IN AFGHANISTAN? -- Karzai raged about the same broken promises from the US, made to him over (4) years ago, when the US promised old refurbished fighter planes, and old outdated refurbished Russian helicopter gunships to the Afghan Air Force, that never ever got delivered to this day...

PS; The US wants those "Unequal Treaties" with Iraq and Afghanistan, and they deliberately withhold the warplanes, and helicopter gunships to force them to sign them... PLUS they arm and train the Sunni Muslims in Jordan and Turkey, to fight the Shia led governments in Syria and Iraq.... (CRAZY isn't it?).

In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 27, 2014 5:38 AM
No, Meanbill, what's CRAZY is you still living in the US.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid