US Receives Far Less Iraqi Security Recruits Than Envisioned
18:24 17.06.2015(updated 19:23 17.06.2015)
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that the United States received nearly three times less Iraqi Security recruits to fight the Islamic State than anticipated.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States received nearly three times less Iraqi Security recruits to fight the Islamic State than anticipated, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told members of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
"Of the 24,000 Iraqi Security Forces we had originally envisioned training at our four sites by this fall, we've only received enough recruits to be able to train about 7,000, in addition to about 2,000 Counterterrorism Service personnel," Carter said.
In May 2015, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq criticized the US-trained government forces for being unable to protect the city of Ramadi from being seized by Islamic State.
Carter stated the United States would only support Iraq if the government was willing to show a "greater commitment" to Washington's help.
However, Carter admitted the seizure of Ramadi by the Islamic State was "deeply disappointing."
In June 2015, US President Barack Obama announced he would deploy 450 additional troops to Iraq in a training capacity. The move was taken in response to the Islamic State's gains in the Sunni Anbar province and its capital Ramadi.
The advances by the Islamic State have prompted criticism that President Obama does not have a strategy to defeat the terrorist group. The US strategy has emphasized putting Iraqi forces at the forefront of the counter-Islamic State ground campaign. A US-led Coalition against the Islamic State has conducted airstrikes on the terrorist group since August 2014.
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