Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

US still mulling Iraq request for militant drone strikes
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 23, 2014

Washington is still weighing Iraq's request to launch air strikes against Islamic militants, but is working to boost the Iraqi army as it battles the extremists, a top US diplomat said Wednesday.

After spending billions of dollars on building up and training the Iraq military, the United States was shocked when the Iraqi army melted away in face of a sweeping offensive in June by the jihadist Islamic State (IS) and allied Sunni groups.

But Deputy Assistant Secretary Brett McGurk told US lawmakers that with increased US support, including round-the-clock air surveillance in recent weeks, the Iraqi army was beginning to "hold the line" since the IS offensive captured a swath of northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul.

The US is now flying some 50 intelligence sorties a day over Iraq, and has set up joint operations command centers in both Baghdad and Arbil, meaning "we now have a much better picture which will inform eventual decisions" by President Barack Obama, McGurk said.

Amid angry accusations that the US administration had not done enough to support the embattled Iraqis, McGurk said Baghdad's request for direct air support was not made until May and "is still under active consideration."

The commanders in Mosul were all fired after the army's humiliating rout, and new "effective" commanders have been appointed, he said.

"There are very incompetent and incapable units with very poor leadership. There's no question we found those," McGurk, who has just returned from seven weeks in Iraq, told the House foreign affairs committee.

"But we have also found extremely capable, extremely proficient and extremely dedicated units and it's in our interest, I believe, to invest in those units. We should not write off what happened in Mosul and write off the entire security force overall."

Washington was focused on trying to help Iraq establish a new stable government following its April 30 elections amid "a clear recognition by Iraqis from all communities that substantial reforms must be undertaken and undertaken urgently."

This includes restructuring the security services around the idea of a five-pronged "functioning federalism" which is adapted to the "new realities on the ground."

The Iraqi army should be given responsibility for securing the country's borders, but rarely deploy inside cities, with local citizens taking the lead in securing local areas, perhaps modelled on the idea of a National Guard -- a job for which they would be paid and equipped.

There must also be closer cooperation between local, regional and national security services "to reduce operational space" for the militants.

And the new parliament must work to introduce on a series of reforms.

General Lloyd Austin, the head of US Central Command, will go to Iraq on Thursday "to further assess the situation and discuss concrete ways in which our assistance might be effective," McGurk added.


Related Links
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Report: drone market to remain strong
Farnborough, England (UPI) Jul 18, 2013
A new study on the unmanned aerial vehicle market forecasts increased spending on the systems and increased civil sector use of the aircraft. The Teal Group, an aerospace and defense market analysis firm, said it estimates UAV spending will nearly double over the next decade - from $5.7 billion annually to $9.9 billion annually. It also predicts changes in usage. "The UAV ... read more

US lawmakers boost funding for Israel's Iron Dome

Qatar to buy Patriot missiles in $11 bln arms deal: US

Qatar to buy Patriot missiles in $11 bln arms deal: US

Industries study enhanced missile defense capability

Storm Shadow missiles set for integration of RAF Typhoons

AC-235 gunships for Jordan feature missiles, rockets and cannons

Russian-made missile key suspect in MH17 crash

Brazil interested in Russian air defenses: Rousseff

Report: drone market to remain strong

Chinese remote sensing drone sets 30-hour flying record

US drone strike kills 18 in NW Pakistan

AgustaWestland's remotely controlled UAV put through paces

Third MUOS satellite heads for final checkout

Saab reports U.S. Army order for radio systems

Thales enhancing communications of EU peacekeepers

Exelis enhancing communications for NATO country

Lithuania to replace M113 armored personnel carriers

AM General touts Humvee replacement offering

Exelis licenses Belgian technology

Air Force contracts Boeing for continued warhead system work.

India clears defence procurement worth $3.5 bn: report

Britain still exporting arms to Russia: MPs

EU to prepare defence sanctions against Russia: Austria FM

Japan, Britain to launch joint missile research: report

The X-Gen Men at 1600 and Number 10

China's Xi in Cuba on last stop of Latin America swing

Malaysia Flight 17 and the decline of the West

Britain's Cameron urges military sanctions against Russia

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast

Low cost technique improves properties of nanomaterials

Researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas

Illinois study advances limits for ultrafast nano-devices

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.