There is little denying that the war against ISIS is going poorly, and everyone is looking for a scapegoat. Over the weekend, Defense Secretary Ash Carter placed the blame squarely on Iraq’s military, saying they simply aren’t willing to fight.
Iranian officials are feeling the loss of Ramadi too, but instead of blaming the Iraqis are placing the fault on America’s doorstep, with Gen. Qassim Suleimani declaring the US “has no will to fight” against ISIS and was leaving everything up to them and the Iraqis.
Gen. Suleimani’s comments were clearly meant to contrast to Carter’s own, and he added that the US “didn’t do a damn thing” to stop ISIS’ advance in Ramadi.
Iraqi Premier Hayder Abadi is finding himself in a tough position once again, aiming to dispute Carter’s assessment without trying to alienate the US by backing the Iranian sentiment and risking substantial losses in aid from either side.
Instead, Abadi is trying to downplay the seriousness of the loss of Ramadi, reiterating last week’s predictions that they will retake the Anbar capital in a matter of days. He dismissed Carter’s comments as the secretary being “fed with the wrong information.” He did, however, say that Iraq needs “more support” to make it happen.