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News > World

Iraq Tells Washington it Doesn't Want US Troops on the Ground

  • Iraq says they have not asked the U.S. for ground troops, because they don't need them.

    Iraq says they have not asked the U.S. for ground troops, because they don't need them. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 October 2015

A government spokesperson said Iraq has not asked the United States to involve themselves in ground operations against the Islamic State group.

The Iraqi government on Thursday said it does not need U.S troops on the ground, nor has it asked Washington for assistance of their soldiers in operations against the Islamic State group, various news outlets reported.

“This is an Iraqi affair and the government did not ask the U.S. Department of Defense to be involved in direct operations,” government spokesperson Sa'ad al-Hadithi told NBC News. “We have enough soldiers on the ground.”

Hadithi warned the United States against sending ground troops to Iraq without first clearing it with Baghdad, in accordance with international law. 

Washington has intervened in many countries, such as Syria, where it is leading aerial attacks, without the consent of the government of Bashar Assad.

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The spokesperson's statement comes a day after the Pentagon said it would send ground troops to Iraq if required.

The U.S secretary of defense, Ash Carter, said, “We won't hold back from ground raids against the Islamic State in Iraq,” before a Senate committee on Tuesday.

Hadithi said that for the time being, Iraq only requires the support of the United States in “arming and training Iraqi forces.” Around 3,300 U.S. troops are already involved in that mission in Iraq.

The U.S. will resort to “direct action on the ground” against the Islamic State group, Carter told the Senate Armed Services committee on Tuesday.

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against IS, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carted stated.

RELATED: Opinion – Russian Bombs, Like US Bombs, Will Not Bring Peace to Syria, by David Swanson 

Carter’s statement also comes days after U.S. special forces participated in a raid to rescue Islamic State group hostages in Iraq.

The White House has expressed concern after their year-long campaign against the Islamic State group has not yielded the results it expected, while Russia has in just a few weeks succeeded in diminishing the Islamic State group in Syria through airstrikes that were coordinated with the Syrian government, as well as with Iraq and Iran.

This success prompted Iraq to apparently consider asking Moscow to conduct a similar airstrike campaign in their country, which, according to RT, “might tilt the military balance in the region, where the US has held a firm grip over a decade.”

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