[QODLink]
Middle East

Iraq to appeal for more US military aid

Iraq will request military assistance, including weapons and security personnel, to tackle al-Qaeda threat.

Last Modified: 31 Oct 2013 03:10
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Iraq is to ask the United States for weapons, training and manpower to help fight the resurgence of al-Qaeda, two years after US troops left the country as security talks broke down.

The request will be discussed during a White House meeting on Friday between the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and the US president, Barack Obama. 

“We know we have major challenges of our own capabilities being up to the standard. They currently are not,'' Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the US, told the Associated Press news agency.

“We need to gear up, to deal with that threat more seriously. We need support and we need help.''

“We have said to the Americans we'd be more than happy to discuss all the options short of boots on the ground.''

However, Faily did not rule out the possibility of asking the US to send military special forces or additional CIA advisers to Iraq to help train and assist Iraqi soldiers. 

The US withdrew all but a few hundred soldiers from Iraq in December 2011 after Baghdad refused to renew a security agreement to extend legal immunity for US forces thatwould have let more stay. 

At the time, the withdrawal was hailed as a victory for the Obama administration, which campaigned on ending the Iraq war and had little appetite for pushing Baghdad into a new security agreement. 

But within months, violence began creeping up in the capital and across the country. More than 5,000 Iraqis have been killed in attacks since April, and suicide bombers launched 38 strikes in the last month alone.

If the US does not commit to providing the weapons or other aid quickly, “we will go elsewhere,'' Faily said. 

A senior Obama administration official said on Wednesday that officials were not planning to send US. trainers to Iraq and that Baghdad had not asked for them.

311

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.