Iraqi leaders ask for U.S. ground forces

Published October 12th, 2014 - 02:08 GMT

Officials in Iraq's Anbar province are calling for the United States to send ground troops to help in the fight against advancing Islamic State militants.

Sabah Al-Karhout, president of Anbar Provincial Council, said Saturday the situation is currently "very bad," with up to 10,000 militants being sent to the western province from Syria and the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Falleh al-Issawi, deputy head of the council, told CNN the body has asked the Iraqi government to request U.S. ground forces to help defend Anbar.

However, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's media office issued a statement Saturday saying the government in Baghdad has not received any official requests from the provincial government for U.S. troops on the ground.

"If we receive any request, we will look into it and we will give our recommendation, but thus far we have not received any request," the office said.

The Iraqi government previously said it is not interested in U.S. ground troops in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, known also as ISIS and ISIL. U.S. President Barack Obama has also ruled out the use of U.S. forces on the ground.

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