22:03 GMT21 January 2021
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    Degrading and destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will be a long-term campaign using all elements of power, US President Barack Obama said at the Pentagon on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The President also stressed that currently they are speeding up the training of the local forces on the ground, including Sunni volunteers.

    “This will not be quick, it is a long-term campaign.”

    The US president added that alongside victory there will also be temporary defeats.

    Sunni Volunteers in Iraq Might Become New Force Against Islamic State

    Volunteers form the Sunni tribes in Iraq can become a new force against the Islamic State, President Barack Obama added.

    “More Sunni volunteers are coming forward. Some have already been trained and they can be a new force against ISIL [Islamic State].”

    The President explained the United States is speeding up the training of local forces on the ground in Iraq, including Sunni volunteers.

    “Meanwhile we continue to ramp up our training and support of local forces that are fighting ISIL [Islamic State] on the ground. As I said before this aspect of our strategy was moving t slowly but the fall of Ramadi has galvanized the Iraqi government.”

    The ground war against the Islamic State must be led by local forces in Syria and Iraq with the support of the US-led coalition’s air power, US President Barack Obama said.

    “It will take time to root them [Islamic State] out and doing so must be the job from local forces on the ground with training and air support from our coalition.”

    Nevertheless, Obama said when the United States has an effective partner on the ground, the ISIL can be defeated.

    US to Accelerate Delivery of Anti-Tank Weapons to Iraq

    Washington will continue to deliver anti-tank weapons to Iraq as well as to train the moderate opposition in Syria as part of the effort to degrade the Islamic State, US President Barack Obama stated.

    “We continue to accelerate the delivery of critical equipment including anti-tank weapons to Iraqi security forces. And I made it clear to my team that we will do more to train and equip the moderate opposition in Syria.”

    President Barack Obama
    © AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

    In June, US Deputy Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk announced that the United States has agreed to provide Iraq with 2,000 anti-tank missiles after the ISIL advanced and captured key towns in Syria and Iraq, including Ramadi.

    On May 17, the Islamic State took control of the Sunni-dominated provincial capital of Ramadi, some 70 miles west of Baghdad. Hundreds of Iraqi security forces were killed in the battle and many more fled the city, leaving significant amount of their weapons behind, including Humvee vehicles.

    The ISIL advances prompted Obama to reaffirm the US commitment to Iraq at a meeting of the National Security Council two days later.

    Moreover, the Iraqi Council of Ministers agreed to accelerate the training and equipping of local tribes and police, expand Iraqi army recruitment and develop a plan to take back Ramadi, according to the White House.

    The terrorist group's positions in Iraq and Syria have been targeted by a US-led coalition, which has been conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State since the summer of 2014.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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