Biden Diffuses Tension With Iraqi Government andReassures Abadi of US Support / Iraqi leaders angry with US defence secretary’s remarks criticising Iraqi army
MESOP : IT GOES UP & DOWN AND GOES ROUND & ROUND – BUT WITHOUT ANY CLEAR DIRECTION
Basnews – 26.05.2015 11:06 – BAGHDAD – United States Vice President Joe Biden has stepped in to reassure Iraq’s government of the US’s continued support in the fight against the Islamic State. Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday night, acknowledging “the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces”, according to a White House statement. The telephone conversation with Abadi comes after US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter questioned the commitment of Iraqi forces, accusing them of “lacking the will to fight”.
The statement says Biden welcomes the Iraqi decision to mobilise additional troops and “prepare for counterattack operations.” Biden pledged full US support to “these and other Iraqi efforts to liberate territory from ISIL,” the statement said, using an acronym for Islamic State. In reaction to Carter’s remarks, which aired Sunday in a TV interview, a spokesman for Iraq’s prime minister suggested the defence secretary had “incorrect information,” while Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds forces in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, offered his own critical assessment of US forces. The heated exchanges came after the loss of Ramadi and other gains by IS in recent days.