US military chief says ground troops may be needed in Iraq

US military chief says ground troops may be needed in Iraq

The US’ most senior military commander says ground troops should be sent in, if air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq fail.

Head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey has made the comment at a Senate hearing overnight.

He says he believes the US’ current course of action, in involving an international coalition, is the best option for now but he has stressed a contingency plan may be needed.

“Our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets,” he told the hearing.

“But we’re not there” yet, he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama said last week he would lead an alliance to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

But President Obama ruled out the possibility of a combat mission that could drag the United States into another ground war in Iraq.

The White House has quickly moved to distance itself from Dempsey’s comments, saying no ground troops will be deployed to Iraq.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Dempsey was “referring to a hypothetical scenario in which there might be a future situation where he might make a tactical recommendation to the president as it relates to ground troops.”

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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