SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, says American military advisers are likely to be deployed in Iraq in a bid to take a more direct role in fighting against ISIL.
“My instinct at this point is that will require a different kind of advising and assisting because of the complexity of that fight,” General Dempsey said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
“Mosul will likely be the decisive battle in the ground campaign at some point in the future,” he said, referring to the northern Iraqi city seized by ISL terrorists in June.
The general, however, said he had not yet encountered a situation where US air raids would be more effective if ground troops were on the spotting targets.
This came as President Barack Obama has insisted that there would be no US boots on the ground in Iraq.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former defense secretary Leon Panetta said that Obama “has to be open to whatever recommendations are made in order to ensure that we are effective in going after ISIS (or ISIL).”
He said boots on the ground were needed to stop the ISIL terrorists.
Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a separate Sunday talk show that US commanders have not asked to put combat forces into Iraq and she did not anticipate such a request.
“We are not going to be in a ground war again in Iraq,” Rice said, adding that “It’s not what is required by the circumstances that we face and even if one were to take that step, which the president has made clear we are not going to do, it wouldn’t be sustainable.”
ISIL 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 several of its Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates — have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The US began airstrikes on ISIL targets in Iraq in mid-August. Several Western nations, including Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia have joined the US military campaign in Iraq.