In a new interview with the Associated Press, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi ruled out any move to send ground troops to Iraq to engage in combat, insisting they would be unwelcome.
“We don’t want them. We won’t allow them,” declared Abadi, who said he was fine with the ongoing US airstrikes against ISIS but found it “puzzling” that the US had excluded Iran from the Paris summit on ISIS Monday.
Abadi’s comments come just days after Iraqi President Massoum had commented that the US recruitment of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to join the air war were likewise unwelcome.
That suggests a growing disconnect between the partnership the Iraqi government is envisioning in the ISIS war, and what the Obama Administration intends to do.
Internally the US appears divided on the ground operation, with President Obama continuing to rule out any ground combat, despite sending 1,600 ground troops, and more and more Pentagon officials saying they believe such a shift is likely or, according to Army Chief Gen. Ray Odierno, inevitable.
That Iraq might not want the US to resume its ground operations in the country doesn’t appear to have entered into the calculation so far, as officials have seemed to take Iraqi acquiescence to whatever they choose to do for granted, thus far without very good results.