18:33 GMT29 November 2020
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    The United States seeks to incorporate more Sunni tribal leaders into its train-and-equip program against the Islamic State in Iraq after Washington’s plan to train them proved slower than expected, US Army Col. Curtis Buzzard said during a press conference on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Buzzard‘s remarks come amid reports that US forces have not sufficiently trained and equipped Iraqi Sunnis and they have been slow to fight Islamic State extremists that have captured mostly Sunni-inhabited areas in Iraq.

    "An important part of success in Iraq is [going to] be the incorporation of Sunnis into the solution, so there are ongoing efforts right now in respect to… Sunni tribal training," Buzzard stated. "Prime Minister Abadi has made that a focus, it's moving forward, maybe not necessarily at the pace we think it should, but there is progress."

    Buzzard acknowledged Iraqi Army units are usually comprised of the country’s Shiite majority, and it is important to recruit more Sunnis.

    "The Iraqi army just completed an assessment… to identify where there were AWOL [absent without leave] soldiers, missing soldiers," he said.

    Buzzard added a major recruiting effort to either build new brigades or fill out existing brigades will soon take place.

    "[O]bviously Sunni incorporation into that is critical into the legitimate Iraqi security forces," Buzzard added.

    ISIL, a Sunni terrorist group, holds significant swaths of mainly Sunni-dominated areas in Iraq.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, Sunni, US, Iraq, Ramadi
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