The US hopes a new base in Anbar province will spur Iraq’s Sunnis to volunteer for training, the White House said. President Obama ordered 450 more troops to the Iraq facility in hopes of bolstering resistance to Islamic State forces in Ramadi.
Iraq has admitted that ISIS jihadists captured huge caches of US-made weapons, including thousands of Humvees seized from Iraqi forces retreating from Mosul last year. The spoils of war have since then been used by ISIS to gain ground in Iraq and Syria.
A day after the US Defense Secretary questioned the Iraqi army’s “will to fight” Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists, Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi PM Haider Abadi to reassure him of continued American support in the fight against IS.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has lashed out at the Iraqi army, which last week abandoned the major central city of Ramadi, as well as millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, to the Islamic State, despite reportedly outnumbering the jihadists 10-to-1.
Speaking to lawmakers, retired Army officers and think tank officials who engineered the 2006 US “surge” in Iraq advocated a return of US ground troops to the region, lamenting the fall of Ramadi as a strategic setback in the war on Islamic State.
Iraqi forces have retreated from a compound they used as a command center in Ramadi, losing control of Anbar’s provincial capital to Islamic State militants, despite substantial US airstrike support helping Iraqi troops and loyal militia hold the city.
ISIS militants have captured and raised black flag over main government compound in the strategic capital of Iraq’s Anbar province. Some 70 civilians have reportedly been executed in the city of Anbar which mostly fallen into the hands of jihadists.
Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who became famous seven years ago after he threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush, shared with RT’s Anissa Naouai why he planned his act of protest and what torture he had to face afterwards.