Iraq: We Didn't Ask for U.S. Ground Operations - NBC Chicago
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Iraq: We Didn't Ask for U.S. Ground Operations

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    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (R) stands with Col. Otto Liller, commander,1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), (2nd R) as he is greeted by Iraqi Major General Falah al Mohamedawi (L) to observe Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service forces participating in a training exercise at the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service Academy on the Baghdad Airport Complex July 23, 2015 in Baghdad, Iraq. Carter is on a week long tour of the Middle East focused on reassuring allies about Iran and assessing progress in the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

    Iraq's government said Wednesday it didn't ask for — and doesn't need — the "direct action on the ground" promised by the Pentagon, NBC News reported. 

    On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the U.S. may carry out more unilateral ground raids — like last week's rescue operation to free hostages — in Iraq to target ISIS militants.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's spokesman told NBC News that any military action must be cleared through the Iraqi government first. 

    "This is an Iraqi affair and the government did not ask the U.S. Department of Defense to be involved in direct operations," spokesman Sa'ad al-Hadithi told NBC News. "We have enough soldiers on the ground."

    He acknowledged the importance of U.S. assistance in Iraq, saying that his country needs American help arming and training Iraqi forced.