News / Middle East

US Says Iraqi Insurgents Pose Mideast Threat

Islamic militants overran parts of the Iraqi city of Mosul, sending refugees fleeing to the country's self-ruled northern Kurdish region on June 10, 2014.
Islamic militants overran parts of the Iraqi city of Mosul, sending refugees fleeing to the country's self-ruled northern Kurdish region on June 10, 2014.
The Obama administration says Syrian-based militants who have seized control of the Iraqi city of Mosul present a broader regional threat that needs a more unified Iraqi government to subdue.  

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the growing strength in Syria of the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) aided the militants' capture of Mosul.

"We've seen from the situation in Syria and the overflow of the impact of that that there has been a transfer of its recruits, sophisticated munitions and resources to the fight in Iraq.  And that has, of course, been of great concern to us," said Psaki.

Psaki says the loss of Iraq's second largest city along with other parts of Nineveh province show a serious deterioration of Iraqi security and a resurgent ISIL threat that benefits from political divisions among Iraqi Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds.

"The threat that ISIL is presenting is not just a threat to Iraq or the stability of Iraq, but it is a threat to the region.  And this growing menace exemplifies the importance of Iraqis from all communities working together to confront this common enemy," she said.

Asked about reports that some security forces in Mosul abandoned their posts, Psaki said events there are being closely tracked by officials in Washington and Baghdad as well as in Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region.

"In terms of those specific reports, we continue to consult with the government of Iraq on those details.  There are a range of Iraqi security forces that remain engaged, and we continue to work with them to address the security situation," she said.

Psaki says the Obama administration has notified Congress of another $1 billion in proposed arms sales to Iraq to include up to 200 Humvees.  That's in addition to the 300 Hellfire missiles, small arms and tank ammunition, machine guns, rifles, helicopters and helicopter-fired rockets sent to Baghdad over the past year. 
 
"We are committed to ensuring that ammunition and equipment Iraq needs in its current fight are delivered as quickly as possible," a U.S. Defense Department official told VOA on Tuesday.
 
The official said the U.S. already had expanded information-sharing initiatives to combat terrorism and has been providing some training to Iraqi troops in Iraq and Jordan.

He said there were no indication any advanced weaponry had fallen into militant hands. 
 
He also said that - per standard procedure - before any advanced weaponry is delivered it undergoes a process to ensure proper security measures are in place to prevent it from falling into enemy hands and being used and to make sure they are not exposed "to the wrong eyes," allowing the enemy to use the equipment to retro engineer anything. He would not explain further. 

This is relevant since, as of now, the US is going ahead with the delivery of F16s to Iraq and appears intent on moving ahead with the sale of Apache helicopters. 

Jeff Seldin contributed to this report from the Pentagon.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: CJ from: Tampa
June 10, 2014 9:24 PM
Ok, more advanced weapons sales that can be left on the battlefield as ISF runs away. Poor US foreign policy. Iraq was not prepared to handle their own security. It will be a hotbed for extremism. Go figure.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 10, 2014 7:28 PM
CRAZY isn't it? -- The US now says the Syrian based (Al-Qaeda) affiliated "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" has crossed over into Iraq from Syria and are trying to establish an Islamic State.... (the US, EU, and NATO countries are still arming the militants (whoever they are) fighting Assad in Syria)...

The US, EU, and other NATO countries, with Saudi, Qatar, Turkey, and Jordan, are providing the sophisticated weapons and supplies the (Al-Qaeda) affiliated (ISIL) have -- (WHAT HYPOCRITES?) -- If only the US, EU, and NATO countries hadn't interfered in Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, (none of this would have ever happened?) --
(CRAZY?) -- The US President said (AL-Qaeda) was on the run, and it's leadership had been decimated, and he is supposed to be, the leader of the world? -- Tell that US President that said that -- that (Al-Qaeda is on the run, running through the whole Islamic world, and now in Africa, and Asia, and heading for Europe, and then the Americas..... REALLY

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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