Iraq’s foreign minister has 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-Jafaari 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.
“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, Jaafari 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.”
The ISIL terrorists control some parts of Iraq and Syria. They are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control. They have terrorized and killed people of all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.
The US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes on what they call ISIL positions since early August in Iraq. ISIL bases have also been reportedly targeted inside Syria by the military alliance since late September.
However, the air raids have so far failed to dislodge the terrorists.
This is while the Iraqi army, backed by pro-government tribes, Shia volunteers and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, has so far managed to gain significant ground in the fight against the terrorists, liberating many ISIL-held areas during their advances.