Iraq Rules Out Need For US Ground Operation

MOSCOW — Baghdad has not asked and does not need the United States to conduct ground operations against Islamic State in Iraq, Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s spokesman said Wednesday.

Iraq Rules Out Need For US Ground Operation
In this picture relased by the US Department of Defence, US Army Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division scan the landing zone for possible hostile forces 26 August 2005. US and Iraqi forces launched 16 March 2006 what they said was the biggest air raid since the war began three years ago, with a massive assault dubbed Operation Swarmer, intended to clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra, over 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of Baghdad.


On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that the Pentagon had not ruled out conducting ground attacks against ISIL.

“This is an Iraqi affair and the government did not ask the U.S. Department of Defense to be involved in direct operations,” Saad Hadithi told NBC News, adding that Baghdad had “enough soldiers on the ground.”

Hadithi said the United States is required to coordinate through Baghdad any military activity in the country, including the airstrikes that an international US-led coalition is currently conducting against ISIL targets on Iraqi soil.

The spokesman, however, admitted that US assistance was important to Iraq to arm and train its forces.

Some 3,300 US troops are currently deployed in Iraq to train local forces and protect US facilities, according to NBC News.




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