News / Middle East

US Special Forces Arrive in Iraq

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby speaks at a news briefing about the situation in Iraq, at the Pentagon, June 13, 2014.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby speaks at a news briefing about the situation in Iraq, at the Pentagon, June 13, 2014.
VOA News

The first of the up to 300 military advisers President Barack Obama committed to help Iraq counter a Sunni militant surge have begun their assessment mission.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters two special operations teams started their work on Tuesday.

"We have begun to deploy initial assessment teams. Two special operations teams with approximately 40 personnel, previously assigned to the embassy through the Office of Security Cooperation, have started their new mission. In addition, approximately 90 additional troops assigned to help stand up the Baghdad joint operations center have arrived on station in Baghdad," Kirby said.

U.S. Support for Iraqi Security Forces and U.S. Interests

  • 30-35 daily surveillance flights over Iraq
  • Aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, guided-missile cruiser and guided-missile destroyer deployed to Arabian Gulf
  • 300 military personnel to deploy to advise Iraqi security forces
  • Amphibious transport dock ship moves to Arabian Gulf with aircraft and Marines

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

"Within the next few days, these troops will be joined by four additional teams of approximately 50 people total, who will deploy to Iraq from within the Central Command region," he added. "These teams will assess the cohesiveness and readiness of Iraqi security forces, hire headquarters in Baghdad, and examine the most effective and efficient way to introduce follow-on advisers."

Meanwhile, at the capitol in Washington, U.S. lawmakers are growing impatient. Following a briefing on Iraq. Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said the U.S. needs to take action against Iraqi militants.:

"You can identify and take them out. And for us to have to quote 'assess the situation' as the continued flood of successes, success after success, that the ISIS are enjoying is a very very dangerous enterprise," McCain said.

The United States also is conducting air surveillance over Iraq, with 30 to 35 flights a day to help gain better insight about the security situation on the ground as Iraqi troops battle the fast-moving insurgency.

The advance of the Sunni militants -- al-Qaida breakaway group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL -- has sparked a crisis in Iraq.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GEorge from: NJ
June 26, 2014 11:07 AM
Let's just insure that the US President and his Generals and Admirals, do not make the same mistake as the Greeks at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.; sending Leonidas and his 300 Spartans to hold off the Persians of Xerxes, whose forces were estimated to be 100,000-150,000. Everyone knows how that turned out. Although the Greeks had over 7,000 troops in the vicinity, the 300 Spartans held the coveted pass at Thermopylae for 3 days and lost all but one of their "Special Warriors." Themistocles, who commanded the remainder of the Greek forces (7000), withdrew. Xerxes and his forces then took and plundered Athens. The naval battle at Salamis, 480 B.C., finally defeated the navy of Xerxes, destroying his method of resupply, causing Xerxes to retreat to Persia. It's 2014 A.D. folks!! Let's not repeat the mistakes of the Greeks, 2494 years ago.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid