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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs