Iraqi FM Deplores US Plan to Deploy Troops to Baghdad
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraq’s foreign minister lashed out at US plans for the deployment of special forces to his country under the pretext of fighting the ISIL terror group, saying Baghdad has not asked the UN for any such troops.
“The message that Iraq has submitted to the (United Nations) Security Council never included a request for ground forces to enter Iraqi territory to conduct such operations,” Ibrahim al-Jafari told a press conference after meetings with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Thursday.
The minister further said that Iraqi armed forces were making gains against the extremist militants on their own and were not in need of more troops, Press TV reported.
“We have established a set of guidelines” for the US-led coalition, including air support for Iraqi forces as well as providing training and intelligence, Jafari said, emphasizing that “no country has regular armies or ground troops present in Iraq except for providing training and counseling.”
Bishop, in turn, said Australia’s role in Iraq was solely restricted to aerial support, training, advice and intelligence, adding, “We have not sought to expand our role to include combat troops.”
During a press conference in the White House on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama said the Washington-led coalition purportedly fighting against the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria is on the offensive and that he might use US special forces to eliminate the Takfiris.
His remarks came hours after he asked Congress to authorize a three-year war against ISIL “and associated forces.”
Iraq has been facing the growing threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the ISIL terrorist group.
The ISIL militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
Since late September, the US and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes against the ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Meanwhile, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the popular forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, have blunted the edge of the ISIL offensive.