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Iraqi forces 'failed to fight' in Ramadi: Pentagon chief

RAMADI: Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said Sunday that Iraqi forces “failed to fight” in Ramadi, which has fallen to Islamic State militants, and said the troops lacked the will to defend themselves. Islamic State jihadists took control of the strategic city, the capital of Anbar province a week ago, in Baghdad's worst defeat in almost...

SAMAA | - Posted: May 24, 2015 | Last Updated: 6 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: May 24, 2015 | Last Updated: 6 years ago
Iraqi forces 'failed to fight' in Ramadi: Pentagon chief

RAMADI: Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said Sunday that Iraqi forces “failed to fight” in Ramadi, which has fallen to Islamic State militants, and said the troops lacked the will to defend themselves.

Islamic State jihadists took control of the strategic city, the capital of Anbar province a week ago, in Baghdad's worst defeat in almost a year.

Carter said the city fell to the militants because Iraqi forces — despite strength in numbers — did not have the will to fight.

“What apparently happened was the Iraqi forces showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered, and they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and they failed to fight and withdrew from the site,” Carter told CNN.

“That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves,” he said, using an alternative name for the group.

Carter said training and equipping the army was of little use if the troops lacked necessary morale.  

“We can give them training and we can give them equipment and we can't obviously give them the will to fight,” he said.

But he remained optimistic that the situation among the troops could improve.

“If we give them training and equipment and support and some time, I hope they will develop the will to fight because only if they fight can ISIL remain defeated.”

Iraqi forces on Saturday retook territory from the Islamic State group east of Ramadi, their first counterattack since the jihadists' capture of the city. – AFP

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