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Iran Press TV

Iraq briefed on US plans for troops deployment, Kerry says

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 2, 2015 2:13PM

The US has fully briefed the Iraqi government on its plans to deploy American special forces in Iraq, Secretary of State John Kerry says.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the Pentagon is deploying 'specialized' troops in Iraq to help combat Daesh (ISIL) terrorists.

In response, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi welcomed foreign assistance in fighting the terror group but strongly ruled out the need for foreign ground combat troops in the country, according to Reuters.

He also said any deployment of special operations forces anywhere in Iraq, needs to be approved by Baghdad first.

'The government of Iraq was of course briefed in advance of Secretary Carter's announcement,' Kerry said Wednesday.

'We will continue to work very, very closely with our Iraqi partners on exactly who would be deployed, where they would be deployed, what kinds of missions people would undertake, how they would support Iraqi efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL,' the top US diplomat added.

Speaking to reporters at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels, Kerry said that Washington has called on other members of the 28-nation security alliance to assign special operations units in order to provide police training, ammunition and other items to Syria's neighbors.

About 3,500 US troops are currently "advising and assisting" Iraqi forces in the fight against Daesh.

On Sunday, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham urged President Barack Obama to nearly triple the US military force levels in Iraq to 10,000, and deploy a similar number of forces to Syria.

The US has also deployed dozens of Special Operations forces to Syria under the pretext of assisting Kurdish forces in their battle against the Daesh Takfiri group.

Washington and its allies have been conducting airstrikes against purported Daesh positions in Iraq and Syria since last year.

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