General Martin Dempsey, top US military officer, arrived in Baghdad on Saturday on a visit that was not officially announced in order to meet the US commanders that are preparing to increase the US assistance for Kurdish and Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State militants.
This marks Dempsey’s very first trip to the country since Barack Obama ordered the non-combatant US forces back in the country during this summer. The visit comes less than 3 years after the US troops’ withdrawal from Iraq.
Martin Dempsey declared:
“I want to hear from those actually doing the lifting that they’ve the resources they need and the proper guidance to use those resources.
I want to get a sense from our side about how our contribution is going.”
Barack Obama authorized 1,500 extra military forces in Iraq. This practically doubles the officially planned troop presence as the US is expanding the advisory mission, training Kurdish and Iraqi forces.
Dempsey will meet various US officials, including Iraqi officials and James Terry, Kuwait-based commander Lieutenant General. Dempsey added:
“This will work best if we’re enabling Iraq’s plan.”
At the moment, the Islamic State forces remain defiant. The militants claimed responsibility for various attacks in Baghdad, including suicide bombings. The tensions between Sunnis and Shi’ites are high at the moment.
Suicide bombings and attacks continue in the country. During Saturday, a car bomb explored and killed 5 Iraqi soldiers, as they were inspecting the damages that were caused by earlier blasts.
Around 1,400 US soldiers are now in Iraq. The maximum number that will appear will be 3,100.