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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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