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Iraq Daily, Sept 17: As US Talks of Ground Troops, Islamic State Promises “The Flames of War”

Iraq Daily, Sept 17: As US Talks of Ground Troops, Islamic State Promises “The Flames of War”
September 17
06:30 2014

LATEST: Parliament Rejects PM’s Nominees for Defense and Interior Ministers

UPDATE 1800 GMT: President Obama has pledged again not to send combat forces against the Islamic State.

Obama, effectively countering the statement of the head of Joint Chiefs of Staff 24 hours earlier, told troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida:

American forces in Iraq will not have a combat mission. They will support Iraqi forces on the ground as they fight for their own country.

Invoking the success in killing Osama bin Laden, Obama reframed the campaign as a fight against terrorism: “We mean what we say. Our reach is long. If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. We will find you eventually.”


As the head of the US military spoke of US ground troops in operations in Iraq, the Islamic State has promised “the flames of war” against any American forces.

General Martin Dempsey, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Congressional committee on Tuesday that US special forces might embed with Iraqi or Kurdish troops.

Dempsey noted that President Obama has promised no US troops will be on the ground, but said commanders have already requested the deployment of small teams of US advisors in battle: “[The President] has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.”

The Islamic State has responded to the escalation of US operations, including more than 160 airstrikes since August 8, with a glossy video “trailer” for the upcoming conflict.

The 45-second film shows the destruction of US armored vehicles and troops in explosions before mocking President Obama’s announcement last week that “American combat troops will not be returning to Iraq”.

It concludes with the titles, “Flames of War: The Fighting Has Just Begun — Coming Soon”.


Parliament Rejects PM’s Nominees for Defense and Interior Ministers

The Iraqi Parliament rejected Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s nominees for Defense and Interior Ministers on Tuesday.

Sunni politician Jabir al-Jabiri was rebuffed as Defense Minister, with support from only 108 out of 251 MPs. Shia politician Riad Ghraib, a last-minute selection for Interior Minister after apparent rejection of a candidate from the Shia Badr bloc, received only 117 of 245 votes.

Abadi had made a personal intervention to ask for Parliamentary approval of the candidates.

Parliament adjourned until Thursday. It is unclear whether Abbadi will have new nominees by then.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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3 Comments

  1. Don Cox
    Don Cox September 17, 10:07

    The IS is like a drunk in a bar. “I’ll fight any man in this room! I’ll fight two of you ! I’ll fight three of you!”

    Reply to this comment
    • Kevin
      Kevin September 17, 13:44

      That’s why they are going to be crushed again. They have too many enemies and they learned nothing from when US troops worked with the sunni tribes to smash their networks in 2007. They think they can fight the entire world and survive.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Ali Bistani
    Ali Bistani September 17, 14:53

    gotta say production value is very high.

    that being said, gotta hate IS the worse combo you can imagine, hipster crossed with sunni islamist

    Reply to this comment

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