Gen. Dempsey says no additional troops needed in Iraq
Iran Press TV
Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:13AM
Senior US military commanders in Iraq do not require additional troops or "advisers" on the ground to assist the Iraqi forces to displace the ISIL terrorists, according to the top US military officer.
General Martin Dempsey, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday he asked his top commanders in Iraq whether the US should get directly involved in ground combat.
"I asked, 'Are we at that point?'" Dempsey said. "And they said, 'No, we are not at that point.'"
Dempsey made a surprise visit to military installations in Baghdad, the Pentagon said in a statement on Saturday.
The Army general met with American troops and military leaders to discuss progress in the ongoing fight against militant groups, especially the ISIL terrorist group, the statement said.
'They are not [just] telling me what I want to hear,' Dempsey said. 'Most of them have been here before, and so they know what it is going to take to defeat ISIL militarily, and also to ensure we don't contribute to this ideology that is the foundation of this movement called ISIL.'
The top officer said military leaders and soldiers told him that Iraqis are "in a much better place" to dislodge ISIL from their cities than the Americans are.
In recent days, Iraq forces have attacked ISIL positions around Ramadi in their latest push to recapture the capital of the western province of Anbar from the terrorists.
"The operation is moving at a pace that leaders feel is adequate," Dempsey said.
During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing early this month, US senators expressed frustrations over the "delusional" strategy against ISIL, and pressed Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Gen. Dempsey for answers.
"While our coalition may own the skies.. our air campaign against IS continues to be limited significantly by overly restrictive rules of engagement and a lack of ground intelligence, which only gets worse as IS moves into urban areas to avoid coalition bombing," said Republican Senator John McCain, using another acronym to describe ISIL.
Dempsey will be replaced by his nominated successor, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has more limited experience in the Middle East.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since the Takfiri ISIL militants began their march through the war-torn country in June 2014.
The heavily-armed terrorists took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country's heartland.
The Takfiri network uses a campaign of terror that involves gruesome methods such as videotaped beheadings, summary executions, and shockingly inventive methods to kill.
The group also runs a sophisticated Internet-based public relations campaign to attract and inspire supporters worldwide.
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