U.S. defense chief: Iraqi forces lacked will to fight ISIS
He said the U.S. military had not recommended any changes for now in the support Washington is giving to Iraq
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Sunday said Iraqi forces showed no will to fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants during the fall of Ramadi a week ago, and U.S. forces were trying to encourage them to engage more directly.
“The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” Carter told CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “They vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they withdrew from the site.”
Carter said that for now, the United States was continuing to provide air strikes and supply Iraqi forces with training and equipment, but Washington was keeping a close watch on the situation.
“Air strikes are effective, but neither they nor anything we can do can substitute for the Iraqis’ will to fight. They’re the ones who have to beat ISIL and then keep them beat,” he said.
He said the U.S. military had not recommended any changes for now in the support Washington is giving to Iraq.
“If there comes a time when we need to change the kinds of support we’re giving to the Iraqi forces, we’ll make that recommendation,” Carter said, when asked about growing calls from Republican lawmakers for putting U.S. ground combat forces into Iraq.
Michele Flournoy, chief executive of the Center for a New American Security, told CNN that Washington needed to press the Iraqi government to provide more resources to the Sunni tribes in the western part of Iraq, who had a greater “political will to fight” than Iraqi forces.
Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, welcomed Carter’s comments about doing more if needed.
“Now is that time, in my view,” she said.
Iraq deputy PM urges Baghdad road opened to Ramadi’s displacedHe said that the bridge, which was opened on Tuesday, had since been closed to those fleeing Ramadi for the safety of Baghdad Middle East
Iraq forces attack ISIS east of Ramadi in new offensiveIraqi forces retook territory from ISIS east of Ramadi Middle East
Iraqi forces to launch Ramadi fight back in ‘coming days’‘Preparations for the Anbar operations are needed because this operation will not be easy,’ a spokesman for the Hashed al-Shaabi militia said Middle East
ISIS seizes town in Iraq’s AnbarHusseiba is about seven kilometers east of Ramadi, where ISIS militants routed Iraqi forces earlier Middle East
Iraqi forces free 300 soldiers held hostage in BaijiIraqi forces also said they thwarted a third attempt by ISIS militants to break through their defensive lines east of the city of Ramadi overnight on Thursday Middle East
Obama says U.S. not losing against ISISThe U.S. president says the loss of key Iraqi city of Ramadi is only a tactical setback Middle East
Iraq dismisses Anbar police chief after Ramadi routISIS on Sunday took full control of the Anbar provincial capital following a three-day blitz Middle East
U.S. taking ‘hard look’ at Iraq strategyA top U.S. official says Washington is going to help Iraqis retake Ramadi from ISIS ‘as soon as possible’ Middle East
Iraqi forces thwart ISIS attack near RamadiISIS is seeking to consolidate its gains in the vast desert province of Anbar, of which Ramadi is capital Middle East