PHOTO: US Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken with Iraqi Foreign Ibrahim al-Jaafari, October 15, 2014
“A senior Obama administration official” has said that Baghdad has requested more American military advisors</strong> in the fight against the Islamic State.
The officials said that the request was made to US Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken last week during his trip to Baghdad and other parts of Iraq.
The senior official did not say how many advisors had been requested.
The Obama Administration has sent in additional advisors and special forces to Iraq since June, when the Islamic State and insurgents advanced in the north, east, and west of the country. There are now about 1,400 US military advisers and diplomatic security personnel in the country.
The senior official made clear that Iraq has not asked for American ground forces and that President Barack Obama would never accept such a request.
The official said the campaign against the Islamic State will require months to recapture Mosul, Iraq’s second city, and jihadist-occupied areas of Anbar Province in the west of the country.
As for ISIL advances against Baghdad, the official said the group had been pushed back and predicted it would not be able to take the city.
For its part, the UN has accused ISIL of “attempted genocide” against Iraq’s Yazidi minority and said atrocities committed by armed group may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“The evidence strongly indicates attempt to commit genocide,” Ivan Simonovic, UN assistant secretary-general, said on Tuesday after meeting officials and displaced people in Erbil, Baghdad and Dohuk during a week-long visit.