Washington: Baghdad cannot regain lost territory without help
Washington's top military officer told reporters Thursday that Iraqi forces will need help to regain the territory that they have lost over the past month in the Sunni militant offensive, according to Al Arabiya News.
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey told reporters during a news conference in response to a question asking about American military advisers' initial impression of the situation on the ground:"If you are asking me will the Iraqis, at some point, be able to go back on the offensive to recapture the part of Iraq that they've lost... probably not by themselves."
However, Dempsey was sure to add that this did not necessarily mean that the U.S. would be involved in such military action.
"I'm not suggesting that that's the direction this is headed," he said.
Rather, Dempsey emphasized that any military action would need to be "accompanied by clear signals from the Shiite-led government" that "Baghdad is ready to reach out to Sunni and Kurdish communities," according to the Al Arabiya report.
"The first step in developing that campaign is to determine whether we have a reliable Iraqi partner that is committed to growing their country into something that all Iraqis will be willing to participate in. If the answer to that is 'no,' then the future's pretty bleak," the general said.
Approximately 200 advisers from the U.S. military have been sent to Baghdad over the past few weeks to assess the developing situation on the ground. 500 troops have also been sent to Iraq's capital in Washington's effort to beef up security at its embassy as well as at the country's main airport.