Iraq dubs foreign ground troops as ‘act of aggression’
No foreign ground troops had been requested from any country, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday, describing such deployment as an “act of aggression.”
The statement on Abadi’s official Facebook page came after U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren said a new force of around 100 special operations troops would be deployed to assist in the military campaign against ISIS militants in Iraq.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that the Iraqi government was fully briefed on U.S. plans to deploy American special forces to Iraq, a day after Abadi said that his country did not need foreign ground troops.
Kerry added that the Iraqi government was fully briefed on the U.S. plans to send an elite unit to help combat ISIS as announced early this week.
In a related story, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Thursday for “one powerful fist” to fight terrorism and accused Western powers of creating “a zone of chaos.”
Speaking in his live state-of-the-nation address, Putin called for an end to what he called double standards that hampered uniting global efforts in fighting terrorism. Without naming the United States, he accused Washington and its allies of turning Iraq, Syria and Libya into a “zone of chaos and anarchy threatening the entire world” by supporting change of regimes in those countries.
He added: “We must leave all arguments and disagreements behind and make one powerful fist, a single anti-terror front, which would work on the basis of international law under the aegis of the United Nations.”
Meanwhile, Kerry warned on Thursday that ISIS would not be defeated by air strikes alone after British bombers made their first strikes on the radical militants in Syria, hitting oil fields that Prime Minister David Cameron says are being used to fund attacks on the West.
Kerry said Syrian and Arab ground forces must be found to take on ISIS.