SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-The Obama administration’s top military commanders acknowledged Tuesday the US is at war with the so-called Islamic State terrorist group and detailed an unclear strategy for fighting the group in Iraq and Syria.
It took US a long time to admit that ISIL is a terrorist organization and a true threat. It took them the beheading of American citizens to realize this although the terrorist group have been committing crimes and atrocities and desecrating religious places of Muslims, Christians and minorities in Iraq and Syria.
“We are at war with [the Islamic State], as we are with al-Qaida,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday morning, speaking before Congress with Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin Dempsey .
The chief tenets of the new plan include training “Syrian opposition”. This plan is the same plan the US admitted for the so-called opposition forces from which ISIL was created and strengthened. Hagel said Tuesday the regional fighting has now made it easier to identify the so-called “moderate opposition,” as extremist forces operating among them now have “made their move.”
The two military leaders indicated on Tuesday this new alleged training, which will take place in Saudi Arabia, is designed to turn 5,000 militants this year into a more ‘conventional fighting force’ following more than three years of global war against Syria.
“We will be able to train and equip these forces by our ability to provide them tactical, to give them strategic guidance through our leadership,” Hagel told the Senate Armed Services Committee
Hagel also said the US would take any possible measure against ISIL in Syria. “The President of the United States has the constitutional and statutory authority to use military force against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq, and CENTCOM is refining and finalizing those plans, which General Austin will brief to the President tomorrow in Tampa. This plan includes targeted actions against ISIL safe havens in Syria – including its command and control, logistics capabilities, and infrastructure. General Dempsey and I have both reviewed and approved the CENTCOM plan.”
Half of Iraqi Army Shiites, Incapable of Defeating ISIL!
This comes as U.S. military’s top officer claimed Wednesday that almost half of Iraq’s army is ‘incapable’ of working against the ISIL, while the other half needs to be rebuilt with the help of U.S. advisers and military equipment.
The general said that U.S. assessors who had spent the summer observing Iraq’s security forces concluded that 26 of the army’s 50 brigades would be capable of confronting ISIL. Dempsey made the remarks to reporters while traveling to Paris to meet with his French counterpart to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria.
Dempsey said that the other 24 brigades were “too heavily populated with Shiites to be part of a credible force against the Sunni ISIL.” On Tuesday, Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would consider recommending the return of ground forces to Iraq if an international coalition sought by the Obama administration proves ineffective.
On Wednesday, Dempsey said no amount of U.S. military power would solve the problem of ISIL’s takeover of large swaths of northern and western Iraq however he put the blame on the Iraqi government which, according to him “must begin with formation of an Iraqi government that is able to convince the country’s Kurdish and Sunni populations that they will be equal partners with the Shiites in Iraq’s future.”
“I’m telling you, if that doesn’t happen then it’s time for Plan B,” he said. He didn’t say what that would entail.