Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken today announced that the US and its coalition of nations involved in the war against ISIS have agreed to dramatically escalate their military involvement in Iraq, including major increases in military aid to the Iraqi government.
The deal, details of which are still emerging, was reached in Paris today during a summit among the leaders. Some 20 countries were involved in the discussion, which focused around Iraqi Premier Hayder Abadi admitting the “setback” of losing the Anbar capital of Ramadi to ISIS.
Abadi promised inquiries into why so many troops left behind large amounts of military equipment, and never fought against ISIS, amid claims that Iraq had a dramatic numerical advantage in the city. Abadi defended the troops, however, saying the real problem was that the US and others didn’t send more weapons.
Abadi also addressed coalition calls for better unity with Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority, insisting that he had done plenty to reconcile with the Sunnis and that the growth of ISIS was the fault of the international community for failing to stem the flow of foreign fighters.
“We can make sacrifices to fight ISIS but the international coalition has to support us,” Abadi added. He said the most important weapons to get from the US and the other nations were anti-tank weapons.
That’s because in recent losses to ISIS, Iraqi troops have left behind large numbers of armored vehicles, including tanks. Most of those vehicles were US-made vehicles provided during the occupation, and have given ISIS a glut of modern military gear for the war in both Iraq and Syria.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius affirmed that the involvement in the ISIS war was going to be “long-term,” but insisted the coalition was determined to continue their involvement until they win the conflict.