A retiring US Army general says that Washington should consider sending US troops to Iraq.
During his final press briefing on Wednesday, Ray Odierno said “We should probably absolutely consider embedding some soldiers [with Iraqi forces], then see if that would make a difference. Odierno retires on Friday.
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RT reports: Odierno, who has been commanding US forces throughout almost all Iraqi war and served as top US commander in Iraq from 2008 to 2010, said that this insertion of US troops “doesn’t mean they would be fighting, but … they would be abetting them and moving with them.”
Odierno’s statement coincided with Thursday’s deadly attack by Islamic State militants in Baghdad. At least 76 people were killed and more than 200 injured after a powerful truck bomb blast hit the capital’s Shia-dominated Sadr-City district.
“I think that’s an option [sending US soldiers to Iraq] we should present to [US President Barack Obama] when the time is right,” he said.
Now the current “excuse” for the US reinvasion of war-torn Iraq is the aggression of Islamic State, which has controlled almost one-third of Iraq since June 2014.
“We could probably go [into Iraq] with a certain amount of American force and … defeat [Islamic State]. The problem is we would be right back where we are today six months later,” said the retiring general.
Reentering Iraq “might be the only solution,” said Odierno, adding that the situation in the country is “becoming more difficult by the day” and “Iraq might not look like it did in the past.”
Dan Glazebrook, a political writer and journalist, believes that Islamic State is seen by the US as “a valuable asset to achieve US goals in the region: destabilizing Syria and Iraq.”
“ISIS is being used some kind of leverage against the Iraqi government. So US can step in as its [Iraq] protector.”
Speaking on Odierno’s briefing on possibility of reentering Iraq, Glazebrook pointed out that “US intervention in Iraq actually led to the rise of ISIS.”
“Pouring more fuel into the fire is not going to help,” he said, adding that if you wanted to eliminate Islamic State, you would need to cut off their sources of funding.
This is not the first time Odierno has spoken out about battling ISIS with US troops. In July, he told Fox News that Washington could have prevented the rise of ISIS if US troops had stayed a little longer in Iraq.