As militants advance in Iraq, U.S. Embassy in Baghdad readies evacuation

posted at 9:31 pm on June 11, 2014 by Noah Rothman

According to U.S. sources who spoke with The Blaze reporter Sara Carter, the United States Embassy in Baghdad is preparing plans to facilitate the evacuation of that massive facility as Islamic militant groups continue their blitz across that country.

“The U.S. official told TheBlaze that the U.S. Embassy, United Nations and other foreign organizations with a presence in Iraq are ‘preparing contingency plans to evacuate employees,’” The Blaze reported.

A counterterrorism expert added that the level of violence in Iraq is at levels “not seen since 2007,” just prior to the implementation of the “surge” strategy which temporarily pacified the growing insurgency in that country.

The $750 million complex is the world’s largest foreign embassy facility and was built to house tens of thousands of government employees and contractors, but it has not been fully staffed since the end of 2013.

The al-Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have already captured the cities of Mosul, Tikrit, and Fallujah, and may be setting their sights on the Iraqi capital. The group’s aim is to create a pan-Islamic state that stretches from the Mediterranean coast to the Iranian border.

The State Department has warned American citizens against traveling to Iraq amid the escalating violence.


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Dang! Just did it again.

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:25 PM

At least the Kurds are well-armed and fight back.

They try, but they lost Mosul … and all that oil.

They don’t refer to the “semi-autonomous” Kurdish areas in Iraq for nothing.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:20 PM

I think Turkey is going to do something about that … They’ve been itching to go in and massacre Kurds for some time, now. Turks love a good massacre and the Kurds have been screwed by pretty much everyone.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 10:26 PM

coolrepublica,

I know it’s fun to blame Obama and all, but may I remind you that Iraq is a sovereign nation, and they ask us to get the F$@@k out.

What country was the staging ground for the ISIS invasion of Iraq? Syria, right? Well which administraton undermined Assad’s regime in Syria on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood? Which administration then offered material and political support to the Syrian rebels despite their well documented ties to Salafists and al-Qaeda?

The current destabilization of Iraq IS all Obama’s fault.

Mike Honcho on June 11, 2014 at 10:27 PM

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:24 PM

As much as it would warm my heart to see the Tomcat in action again, I would have to root for the Iraqi F-16′s.

Though, it would be interesting to see the twin tailed F-5′s the Iranians were touting a few years back.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Embassy staff need to convert to Islam and declare Jihad on America. Obama will have them home in a flash. The alternative could be fatal.

Southernblogger on June 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Thanks, Obama. All the gains our soldiers died for gone overnight.

John the Libertarian on June 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM

They try, but they lost Mosul … and all that oil.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 10:26 PM

They didn’t loose, they stayed out at the behest of the unity government. They are in talks now to move south and take it to ISIS.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Which administration then offered material and political support to the Syrian rebels despite their well documented ties to Salafists and al-Qaeda?

The current destabilization of Iraq IS all Obama’s fault.

Mike Honcho on June 11, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Precisely and now Assad is offering to help Baghdad against ISIS/ISIL while the US prepares to evacuate the embassy. Life justs stranger by the day.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

I think Turkey is going to do something about that … They’ve been itching to go in and massacre Kurds for some time, now. Turks love a good massacre and the Kurds have been screwed by pretty much everyone.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 10:26 PM

True, but the Kurds have no intention of meeting the same fate as the Armenians.

Erdogan may have more to worry about if ISIS decides part of Turkey should be in the caliphate. Jordan, and even Israel, are part of the Grand Plan, supposedly. And now ISIS has $450 million to spent on armaments. Someone will sell to them.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,…from the Moo Ja Ha Deans;

People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran

P.M.O.I
View this content on P.M.O.I’s website
Iran has occupied Iraq, movement leader says

Sheikh Shahab al-Badri, one of the senior movement leaders in Iraq’s Diyala Province, said to al-Qarbiya TV regarding Khomeini posters in the streets of Baquba, capital of Diyala Province, “Posting…
View on web
============

Iran has occupied Iraq, movement leader says

Sheikh Shahab al-Badri, one of the senior movement leaders in Iraq’s Diyala Province, said to al-Qarbiya TV regarding Khomeini posters in the streets of Baquba, capital of Diyala Province, “Posting such pictures shows Iraq is occupied by Iran …”

In response to this question why don’t Diyala officials prevent such measures he said, “In Diyala and all of Iraq a province governor has no authority. All the authority is monopolized in one person and that is Maliki. He does whatever he wants and this is a dictatorship in all aspects of Iraq’s society.”

“All this will only end with the end of Maliki, the end of sectarianism and the end of these criminals… millions displaced, millions killed and millions of others criminalized, raped and tortured, and the war against Ramadi and the killing of residents and their leaders is a case that Maliki has left of his himself, and only with Maliki’s end will this situation come to an end,” he said.

http://www.mojahedin.org/newsen/28842

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Jay Carney: “There are no Al Qaeda tanks in Baghdad.”

kcewa on June 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

How can you fight without tanks? Impossible!

signed, troll
/

CW on June 11, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Of course… ISIS has been fighting the Syrian rebels from the back and Assad has been fighting them from the front… ISIS is directly or indirectly allied with Assad and both of them must f***ing annihilated…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Assad said today he supports the Iraqi government against the Sunni insurgents invading Iraq. Looks like any deal is off.

Good Arab Muslims…they never fail to break their agreements.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:31 PM

For all of his drone strikes and the Bin Laden thing, the terrorists seem to have flourished under Obama’s watch and seem to be winning the War on Terror.

Southernblogger on June 11, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,…:

zerohedge
View this content on zerohedge’s website
Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Action” Against Al…

And just like that the war in Iraq,
View on web
============

Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Support” Against Al Qaeda
Tyler Durden’s picture
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/11/2014 19:05 -0400
***************************************************

It appears that the best diversion from Obama’s latest bevy of scandals, including the VA snafu and the Bergdahl fiasco, will be yet another war, one which Iraq just gave the green light for. As the WSJ reported moments ago, Iraq has privately signaled to the Obama administration that it would allow the U.S. to conduct airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft against al Qaeda militant targets on Iraqi territory, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday.

More:

The Obama administration is considering a number of options, including the possibility of providing “kinetic support” for the Iraqi military fighting al Qaeda rebels who seized two major cities north of Baghdad this week, according to a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made.

Officials declined to say whether the U.S. would consider conducting airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft.

Wait, so the US is now the world’s largest mercenary army, doing the bidding of defenseless, third-world governments (which just happen to be drowning in crude)?

Iraq has long asked the U.S. to provide it with drones that could be used in such strikes, but Washington has balked at supplying them, officials said.

Until now.

And just like that the war in Iraq, “Bush’s war” according to so many, is about to come back with a vengeance this time under Nobel peace prize winning president, and what makes it most grotesque is that this time the US will be waging combat with at a military force that it itself is training and arming in neighboring Syria.

Which of course is good news for the military-industiral complex and US Q3 GDP, if not so good for millions of innocent civilians soon to be known as “collateral damage.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-11/iraq-gives-obama-green-light-commence-kinetic-action-against-al-qaeda

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Iraq Asked U.S. To Bomb ISIS Staging Areas Before They Took Mosul, Obama Said No…

Resist We Much on June 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Maybe in part because Iraq (Maliki), as with Russia and Iran, has been an Assad ally and Obama (and McCain) want Assad dead (and the Christians in Syria too as a natural matter of course in the event of Assad’s demise).

Michael S. Schmidt and Yasir Ghazi, August 12, 2011: Mr. Maliki’s support for Mr. Assad has illustrated how much Iraq’s position in the Middle East has shifted toward an axis led by Iran. And it has also aggravated the fault line between Iraq’s Shiite majority, whose leaders have accepted Mr. Assad’s account that Al Qaeda is behind the uprising, and the Sunni minority, whose leaders have condemned the Syrian crackdown.

“The unrest in Syria has exacerbated the old sectarian divides in Iraq because the Shiite leaders have grown close to Assad and the Sunnis identify with the people,” said Joost Hiltermann, the International Crisis Group’s deputy program director for the Middle East.

VorDaj on June 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Does the phrase “Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows,” come to mind for anyone else, or is it just me?

pannw on June 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

As much as it would warm my heart to see the Tomcat in action again, I would have to root for the Iraqi F-16′s.

Though, it would be interesting to see the twin tailed F-5′s the Iranians were touting a few years back.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:27 PM

It will look like a American Air Show from the 1980s!

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:34 PM

True, but the Kurds have no intention of meeting the same fate as the Armenians.

I hope they don’t.

Erdogan may have more to worry about if ISIS decides part of Turkey should be in the caliphate.

Hmmm … now, that would be something. I have a feeling that the jihadis will concentrate on softer targets.

Jordan, and even Israel, are part of the Grand Plan, supposedly. And now ISIS has $450 million to spent on armaments. Someone will sell to them.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Yep. They’ve got a lot more than just $450 million, too. You know the French are dying to sell them anything and everything in the arsenal.

Someone is going to have to repave the arab world. Yep… It was always inevitable.

Well, at least, now the Taliban Five in Qatar will have stuff to keep them busy close to their new home!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM

It all goes back to Bush. He, Cheney and Rummy should have known subsequent administrations would not keep a major presence in the region, and the public would be against it anyway. We never should have invaded Iraq or attempted nation building in Afghanistan.

He has tarred Conservatism and Republicans for a generation with his complete idiocy. Any right winger who wants to win needs to repudiate the Bush legacy in the strongest terms. The only reason Republicans even have a chance in the midterms is because Obama and company are so terrible.

echosyst on June 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM

“It’s clear that the situation on the ground is very murky,”

Is there intelligent life on Earth in this administration?

Alien on June 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Precisely and now Assad is offering to help Baghdad against ISIS/ISIL while the US prepares to evacuate the embassy. Life justs stranger by the day.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

ISIS is Assad ally in Syria… ISIS is fighting the rebels in the back and Assad is fighting the rebels in the front… The ignorance of what is going on in Syria is simply stunning… So much lies that you morons keep spreading…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

It’s way worse than it’s reported in the news.

The US embassy is a big target.

obama is to blame, first.

The idiot Iraqi leader who didn’t make peace/amends with the Sunnis will get it.

Congratulations terrorists. You won, because obama is your brother.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

It will look like a American Air Show from the 1980s!

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:34 PM

How good are the Iranian pilots?

I guess the pictures of the iranian F-5 are getting harder to find.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

The Associated Press @AP · 1m

Al-Qaida-inspired militants seize Iraqi city of Tikrit, pushing deeper into Sunni areas: http://apne.ws/1xLnUQw
===============================================

Islamic gunmen push into Iraq’s Sunni heartland
By SAMEER N. YACOUB and ADAM SCHRECK
— Jun. 11, 2014 9:06 PM EDT
***************************

AGHDAD (AP) — Al-Qaida-inspired militants pushed deeper into Iraq’s Sunni heartland Wednesday, swiftly conquering Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit as soldiers and security forces abandoned their posts and yielded ground once controlled by U.S. forces.

The advance into former insurgent strongholds that had largely been calm before the Americans withdrew less than three years ago is spreading fear that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, struggling to hold onto power after indecisive elections, will be unable to stop the Islamic militants as they press closer to Baghdad.

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group took control Tuesday of much of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, sending an estimated half a million people fleeing from their homes. As in Tikrit, the Sunni militants were able to move in after police and military forces melted away after relatively brief clashes.

The group, which has seized wide swaths of territory, aims to create an Islamic emirate spanning both sides of the Iraq-Syria border.

The capture of Mosul — along with the fall of Tikrit and the militants’ earlier seizure of the western city of Fallujah — have undone hard-fought gains against insurgents in the years following the 2003 invasion by U.S.-led forces.

The White House said the security situation has deteriorated over the past 24 hours and that the United States was “deeply concerned” about ISIL’s continued aggression.

There were no reliable estimates of casualties or the number of insurgents involved, though several hundred gunmen were in Tikrit and more were fighting on the outskirts, said Mizhar Fleih, the deputy head of the municipal council of nearby Samarra. An even larger number of militants likely would have been needed to secure Mosul, a much bigger city.
(More….)
==========

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/governor-says-iraq-determined-retake-mosul

https://twitter.com/adamschreck

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Does the phrase “Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows,” come to mind for anyone else, or is it just me?

pannw on June 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Good old Thucydides…

Although from an infidels point of view (not living in that part of the world) it is beginning of a little rest.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Caravans of 60 trucks, with worse than Al Quaida, the same who are the brothers of McCain/obama in Syria, move on the Iraqi roads, and no one drones them.

obama will be in Palm Springs June 13/14, to fund-raise, play golf, love and etc.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 10:38 PM

The idiot Iraqi leader who didn’t make peace/amends with the Sunnis will get it.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Maliki will be safely in Iran with his Shiite buddies.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Danijel Kujundzic ‏@kujundzic1 2m

#International border gone #Iraq #ISIS #Syria pic.twitter.com/GX7APjVgVP
==========================

Mutlu Çiviroglu ‏@mutludc

ISIS militants remove bordr line between #Iraq and #Syria to mark its contrl ovr region #TwitterKurds #Rojava #Syria pic.twitter.com/6Deuj6cCAZ

https://twitter.com/mutludc/status/476673029477785600/photo/1

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Iran and Turkey are offering military assistance to Iraq.

And the Kurdish peshmerga are asking to enter the fray.

Mass public beheadings in Mosul and Tikrit are being reported.

ISIL may have worn out its welcome instantaneously.

These ghouls can’t really fight. The Turks are extremely capable, so we’ll see what happens.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Maliki will be safely in Iran with his Shiite buddies.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:38 PM

obama helped the wild ones create their desired caliphate. His brothers are very happy. Hundreds of heads are literally chopped off.

There is nothing which obama has not made more miserable. How that creep sleeps at night is…oh well, his plan.

Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Assad said today he supports the Iraqi government against the Sunni insurgents invading Iraq. Looks like any deal is off.

Good Arab Muslims…they never fail to break their agreements.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Of course this butcher will say this to claim that he has nothing to do with ISIS… But the reality on the ground in Syria is that ISIS has been fighting the rebels in the back and Assad has been fighting in the front… So Assad and ISIS are allies, it is that simple… Remember that this f*** Assad made Syria the main conduit of Al Qaeda terrorists, later become ISIS, to Iraq to fight our troops there and kill the Iraqis…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:40 PM

How that creep sleeps at night Schadenfreude on June 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Narcissistic sociopaths sleep quite soundly, I expect. No guilty conscience to keep them awake.

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Good evening Scrumpy. Yes many of us were. Still though I never did see Lourdes point out which site or sites she was talking about. cozmo is in no need of my assistance in this. I have no personal gripe with Lourdes. I am curious though. Seems like it would be easy to sight sites or site. ; )

Bmore on June 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

…that bothered me too!…it’s easy enough!…why hasn’t it happened?

KOOLAID2 on June 11, 2014 at 10:42 PM

ISIS is Assad ally in Syria… ISIS is fighting the rebels in the back and Assad is fighting the rebels in the front… The ignorance of what is going on in Syria is simply stunning… So much lies that you morons keep spreading…

No, you idiot.

ISIS initially fought Assad, but because they’re deranged head choppers who kill everybody, the rest of the Syrian rebels turned against them, so ISIS is now fighting ALL SIDES in Syria.

ISIS is dfanatically ANTI-Shi’te and fanatically ANTI-Allawite.

You’re the only moron here.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:42 PM

ISIS is Assad ally in Syria… ISIS is fighting the rebels in the back and Assad is fighting the rebels in the front… The ignorance of what is going on in Syria is simply stunning… So much lies that you morons keep spreading…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

So you and the ‘Jeffersonian’ rebels keep claiming. Of course they also keep claiming that Assad is launching chemical attacks which are later found to be lies. Rebel infighting doesn’t make any of the rival groups Assad’s ally.

I will take anything they, or Obama says with a massive grain of salt.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:44 PM

How good are the Iranian pilots?

I guess the pictures of the iranian F-5 are getting harder to find.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Will it matter? I doubt they will be going up against a competent air force unless they face the Arabians (I guess they are competent) or somehow run afoul of the Turks. Have the Sunni Jihadists seized any Iraqi fighters? Do they have any old Baathist/Sunni Iraqi turncoat pilots working for them?

Plus what kind of stingers do they have considering Qatar (thanks CIA) was handing them out the Sunni Jihadists in Afghanistan.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Iraq and Afghanistan AREN’T Germany and Japan.

Those were civilized nations before they went feral. Iraq and Afghanistan were not, are not and likely will not be for a very long time. They are an Islamic tribal society and you aren’t going to create a functioning democracy out of them.

They don’t want what we have to offer.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

I have an uncle by marriage who went over to Iraq 3 different times for 6 months to a year to give Iraqis tank training. A few years ago we were talking about it and he predicted that the Iraqi soldiers would run as soon as they were faced with armed conflict. He said most of them were there because they got their bellies full and were able to make a little money and that they didn’t care about fighting against insurgents at all. He was right.

shubalstearns on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

So ANOTHER Nobel Peace prize for Hussein ?

burrata on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

No, you idiot.

ISIS initially fought Assad, but because they’re deranged head choppers who kill everybody, the rest of the Syrian rebels turned against them, so ISIS is now fighting ALL SIDES in Syria.

ISIS is dfanatically ANTI-Shi’te and fanatically ANTI-Allawite.

You’re the only moron here.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:42 PM

You have no idea what you are talking about… On the ground Assad and ISIS are not fighting each other and they are both fighting the rebels… Those are the facts and cannot be denied… I follow the Syrian war more than anyone else here and I know exactly what is going on…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

…that bothered me too!…it’s easy enough!…why hasn’t it happened?

KOOLAID2 on June 11, 2014 at 10:42 PM

It did more than bother me. I don’t care for being libeled.

It won’t happen because she is lying.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:46 PM

An’ how much cash did we sink into the embassy?

I want my money back.

Woody

woodcdi on June 11, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Will it matter?
William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

It will matter.

Its one thing to do a fly over. Something else to to have the fighters do their job.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Jen Psaki
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 11, 2014
=============

TURKEY / IRAQ / SYRIA

Deteriorating Situation in Iraq / DAS McGurk’s Meetings
Deputy Secretary Burns’ Return from Vienna
ISIL / Oil Refinery / Military Equipment / Assistance to Iraqi Government / Security Agreement / Link to Syria on Violence in Iraq / Iraqi Federal Government and Kurdish Regional Government / Diplomats Detained / Terrorism Concern in Syria / Focus on Changing Threat / Senate Armed Services / U.S. Supports Calls for National Unity from Iraqi Leaders

IRAN

Play Constructive Role

IRAQ

Call for National Unity / Concern of Growing Threat / Sophisticated Arms to Iraqi Military
====================================

TRANSCRIPT:

1:18 p.m. EDT

MS. PSAKI: Hi everyone.

MS. PSAKI: I just have one item for all of you at the top. Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Davutoglu spoke by phone this morning. They discussed their mutual concern about the deteriorating security situation in Mosul and ISIL’s despicable attack on the Turkish consulate, which we condemn in the strongest terms. We join Turkey and the international community in calling for the immediate release of Turkey’s kidnapped diplomatic personnel. The security reiterated the United States commitment to working with the Iraqi Government and leaders across Iraq to support a unified approach against ISIL’s continued aggression. We are in touch with the governments of Turkey and Iraq, and stand ready to provide any appropriate assistance.

Matt.

QUESTION: Just on, I guess – well, on that, the deteriorating – they seem to – I mean, can they deteriorate much more? I mean, it seems to be – it’s totally in control of ISIL, is it not?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we’re referring to deteriorating over the last several days, which, to your point, there’s no question that has been the case.

QUESTION: Okay. And have there been any discussions in the past – since you last briefed between people here and the Iraqi authorities on the situation?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I do have an update. As you may know, Deputy Assistant Secretary Brett McGurk is on the ground. The Secretary spoke with him this morning, and naturally he – the Secretary and other senior officials here are in close touch with him on the ground.

Since he has been there – I should say just over the last 48 hours – he has met or spoken with Prime Minister Maliki, Speaker Nujaifi, KRG Prime Minister Barzani, KRG Deputy Prime Minister Talabani, Vice President Khuzai, Governor Karim of Kirkuk, Governor – I mentioned, I think I mentioned Governor – sorry, Governor Nujaifi. I had already mentioned Speaker Nujaifi – Governor Dulaimi of Anbar, National Security Advisor Fayyad, Deputy Prime Minister Mutlaq, Iraqi Prime Minister’s Advisor Tarik Najm, Chief of Staff to President Barzani Fuad Hussein, former Deputy Secretary General of the PUK Barham Salih, tribal sheikhs, members of parliament, and many others, including members – including the UN Secretary General’s special representative for Iraq. And the point – the reason I – somebody asked that yesterday, so I wanted to give an extensive overview.

QUESTION: Well, that’s pretty extensive. Has he had any time to sleep or eat? That seems like a lot of people to see in 24 – in 48 hours.

MS. PSAKI: I can – in 48 hours. I can assure you – I was on an email with him at something like 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. his time last night, so I don’t know that he’s sleeping very much. But the Secretary, when he spoke with him this morning, received an update on all of those conversations.

QUESTION: Okay. But all those conversations were between McGurk and the Iraqis, correct?

MS. PSAKI: That is right.

QUESTION: Okay. But the Secretary himself or Deputy Secretary Burns or anyone else? No one?

MS. PSAKI: As you know, Deputy Secretary Burns is returning from Vienna.

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: The Secretary has received updates from Deputy Assistant Secretary McGurk.

QUESTION: There are reports coming just now that militants are heading towards Baghdad. Do you know anything about that?

MS. PSAKI: I – again, it’s a very fluid situation on the ground, as we all have been talking about. We are of course very concerned about the deteriorating security situation. I don’t have any confirmation of those reports.

QUESTION: How about – can we go to Tikrit? Tikrit, as I understand it, has been overrun already, and the largest oil refinery in Iraq is also apparently under threat by ISIL forces. Are you concerned about the threat to oil flows that may result if oil installations are taken over, one, and two – well, I’ll just leave it at that, and then I’ve got another one.

MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, on the oil refinery, there have been conflicting reports. Our understanding at this point is that the refinery remains in control of the Government of Iraq. Certainly, we would be concerned, as we have been, about a range of incidents over the last several days if that were to change. In terms of Tikrit, we’ve also seen reports as you mentioned, and that – of course, we’re continuing to look into the situation on the ground, but we do not have confirmation of that at this point.

QUESTION: And do you think – well, two questions. One is: Other than DAS McGurk talking to a great many people there, is the U.S. Government considering any type of concrete action to help the current Iraqi Government regain control of its territory?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve expedited, as you know, shipments of military equipment since the beginning of the year. We’ve ramped up training of Iraqi security forces and worked intensively to help Iraq implement a holistic approach. As you noted, Arshad, the situation is certainly very grave on the ground. We are working with Iraqi leaders from across the country to support a coordinated response. You can expect that we will provide additional assistance to the Iraqi Government to combat the threat from ISIL, but I’m not in a position to outline that further at this point.

QUESTION: You had about a decade, though, to train the Iraqi security forces between the U.S. invasion and – it’s more than a decade now. What makes you think ramping up the training since the start of the year is going to do much in this circumstance?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there are a number of components. So one of the pieces that we’ve been very focused on in our diplomatic conversations is the need for a more unified approach from a range of parties in Iraq. We are encouraged to see the calls for national unity from Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum. We think that presents a strong, unified front. We also support the steps taken between the federal government and the KRG to cooperate on a security plan that will enhance the Iraqi army’s ability to hold positions and confront this ISIL aggression.

And again this is – obviously, as we’ve stated in here many times and as our statement yesterday indicated, we’re clearly very concerned about the deteriorating security situation. Iraq and the Government of Iraq remains a crucial partner in our fight against terrorism, and we will continue to work with them in a range of capacities moving forward.

QUESTION: Was it – I’m well aware that the Iraqi Government and the United States could not come to agreement on a SOFA for continued – the continued presence of U.S. forces in Iraq. And I realize that absent such an agreement, you couldn’t keep your forces there. Was it, however, a mistake not to have tried harder to maintain a residual force that might have helped the various Iraqi parties, political parties, work more cohesively with one another? Do you think it was the right – simply stated, was it the right thing to pull everybody out, as happened?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you noted, Arshad, there was a mutual decision between the Government of Iraq and the United States that it was time to pull our troops home. I’m not going to look back and speculate on what would have been different had things been different at the time. They obviously were not.

QUESTION: Jen – sorry, excuse me. Can I –

QUESTION: Well, wait. Can I follow up on that particular point –

MS. PSAKI: Sure, go ahead.

QUESTION: — on that particular point? I mean, how can you not look back and say, well, maybe the pullout could have been organized a bit differently? Did we have enough political engagement? Were there – was there enough training of the Iraqis? I mean, there’s no looking back whatsoever to say –

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve clearly, Elise, increased that over the last several months because we’ve seen a need for that on the ground. And we’re focused right now on how we can assist the government at this point in time during what is a very challenging security situation on the ground, and that’s where we’re going to exert our efforts.

QUESTION: Well, don’t you think, though, that, like, you can apply this example also to Syria in terms of that the situation is much more grave now as you consider providing additional support to the rebels than had you had done it two years ago when these discussions first surmised. And in Iraq in particular, like, you’ve seen what was happening in Iraq for – the violence has been steadily increasing for some time, and now you’re kind of a little bit late to the game, don’t you think?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I would argue with that. I think in Syria, it’s entirely different for a range of reasons, including the fact that we have not had troops on the ground and there’s never been a consideration to do that. So we’re not talking about a similar situation. They’re obviously linked because of the impact of Syria on the violence in Iraq, and that is a contributing factor that we think has been – has had a major impact on what we’re seeing.

QUESTION: I’m just saying, though, that isn’t there a kind of recognition that you need to be more proactive instead of crisis – responding to these various crises as they’re –

MS. PSAKI: Well, clearly –

QUESTION: — after it’s a little bit too little too late?

MS. PSAKI: I would disagree with that. The steps that we’ve taken over the last several months to expedite the support that we are providing was in advance of obviously the events that have occurred over the last couple of days. We have a strong diplomatic presence on the ground. We’re constantly evaluating what – how we can best assist, how we can best help prepare to – and partner with the Iraqis to combat these threats from terrorists, and that will continue.

QUESTION: Then why not deploy something that is likely to change the situation on the ground like drones? Since we know their address, we know the address of Daeesh, the ISIL in Iraq. We know where they are. We know where they are moving – their convoys, whatever, their movement is well known. And this is something that can really change things on the ground. Why not? I mean, this is something that –

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, as I mentioned –

QUESTION: — you continue to do in Pakistan and in Afghanistan and in Yemen.

MS. PSAKI: Well, we don’t discuss operational details along those lines, as you know. I will say, as I noted, you can expect we will increase our assistance. I have nothing I can outline further on that front at this point.

QUESTION: Okay. Because as it seems, the Iraqi army or the Iraqi security forces aren’t able to hold onto what they have. For instance, yesterday there was a helicopter that was overcome by Daeesh, by the ISIL.

MS. PSAKI: I know you asked me about that yesterday. I still don’t at this point have confirmation of those details you mentioned.

QUESTION: Okay. And also, we heard that the central government has requested the aid of the Peshmerga, the Kurdish army or the Kurdish militia, to going to after these bad guys. Will you assist the Peshmerga, which – they have very close relations with the U.S. military. Would you –

MS. PSAKI: I think I just noted a few minutes ago, Said, so I’d point you to this, that we support the steps taken by the Iraqi federal government and the KRG in their efforts to cooperate on a security plan. And that has, as you know, been difficult in the past, so that we see that as a positive step.

QUESTION: Are you also – I mean, the flipside of that – would that help solidify the sort of – the separation in Iraq along ethnic lines, like the KRG may become an independent country?

MS. PSAKI: Again, we – you know where we stand on that. We are encouraged by calls for national unity. The threat from ISIL and the terrorists in Iraq is a challenge for all of the people as well as the region.

QUESTION: And my final question on national unity: Do you have faith – I mean, this question was asked to you yesterday. Do you have faith that Mr. Maliki can lead a national unity effort that can be crowned with success?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as I noted yesterday – and our position hasn’t changed – there’s more that Prime Minister Maliki can do. There’s more that many leaders can do. We’re encouraged by calls for national unity and we think that is the right step forward.

QUESTION: In the additional steps – and I understand you couldn’t –

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: — further detail them. But can you rule out, can you tell us whether or not the United States is giving any consideration whatsoever to the deployment of any ground troops in Iraq or the Iraqi Government to ask for such?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not aware of that consideration. Otherwise, I’m not going to speculate on any other details of assistance.

QUESTION: Do you have a handle, Jen, on how much of the stuff that was promised earlier this year actually arrived? And if you do, or even if you don’t, do you have an idea of how much materiel – how much equipment and stuff – has been seized by ISIL, aside from the helicopter which you said you didn’t – you weren’t aware of?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. I gave an outline yesterday about –

QUESTION: Did you?

MS. PSAKI: — the assistance that we’ve been able to move forward on. In terms of your question about what has been seized, we know, obviously, there was a structural breakdown here. The Government of Iraq is conducting an investigation. We’re looking into what equipment or materials they may have seized.

QUESTION: So you don’t –

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have that assessment at this point in time.

QUESTION: You don’t yet. I mean, there are reports that they include F-16s, they include jets, fighter jets, which it’s unclear whether anyone in the ISIL would be able to fly them or use them. But would you consider bombing this stuff, to destroy it so that it can’t –

MS. PSAKI: Again, since we don’t yet have an assessment, I just don’t want to speculate on what steps we may or may not take.

QUESTION: Jen –

QUESTION: Jen, I wonder if we could have one more –

MS. PSAKI: I think, Said, we have a couple of other people. So let’s just – go ahead, Michel.

QUESTION: Were you able to confirm the news stories that I asked about yesterday about the helicopters?

MS. PSAKI: No. I just noted to Said I have not confirmed that, no.

QUESTION: Okay. Today Iraqi security officials have said that ISIL has captured hundreds of tanks and ammunitions in Salah al-Din province. Do you have any information about this?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as I just noted to Matt, clearly the situation on the ground is very murky and we are trying to obtain confirmation on what assets ISIL may have obtained on the ground.

QUESTION: And the news stories have said, too, that former vice president during Saddam era, Izzat Duri, has showed up in Mosul today. Do you have any idea about this?

MS. PSAKI: I have not – I have no confirmation of those reports.

QUESTION: And one more for me. Turkey has called the NATO today for an urgent meeting after the kidnapping of its diplomats in Mosul. Are you aware of such a meeting? And what can we expect from –

MS. PSAKI: I would point you to the Turks on that. Clearly the United States, as is evidenced by the Secretary’s call to the foreign minister this morning, shares the concern about the capturing of the diplomats, and he expressed that. We condemn, of course, those actions and hope that they will be freed.

QUESTION: If there is any particular kind of action on the border, particularly by ISIL and given the location of where everybody is, is this something that NATO would take an interest in and as Turkey is a NATO ally? Would they consider this an Article 5 consideration, perhaps?

MS. PSAKI: It’s a good question, Elise. I mean, I would clearly point you to NATO. I’m not sure what they would be considering at this time. They may have spoken to that. I’m not aware – I haven’t seen comments from them on that point.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: Did Secretary Kerry and the Turkish foreign minister discuss the NATO meeting or not?

MS. PSAKI: They discussed what I outlined at the top of the briefing.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: Is there any more detail on the specific meeting? What exactly Turkey is asking for from the U.S. at this moment?

MS. PSAKI: I would point you to Turkey on that question, and we’ll let them speak for what their needs are. Obviously, we remain concerned about the detainment of the diplomats. We all share a concern about the security situation. This is not just a challenge for the people of Iraq but for the people of the region, and these events are clearly an example of that.

QUESTION: According to reports, Turkish prime minister called the Vice President Biden. Do you have any readout on that meeting?

MS. PSAKI: I do not. I would point you to the Vice President’s office on –

QUESTION: Usually Prime Minister Erdogan talks to President Obama this kind of situation. Do you know why the President is not available today?

MS. PSAKI: I wouldn’t speculate on that. I don’t even know if what you stated is correct. I would point you to the White House on any calls he has planned for today.

QUESTION: On this hostages – hostage crisis, it looks like for the last number of days ISIL, I-S-I-L, forces have been mounting and closing into Mosul. Have you been contact the Turkish Government or Mosul and warning them? Did you have any kind of advance communication with the Turkish counterparts?

MS. PSAKI: About the plans to detain our diplomats?

QUESTION: That, or impending invasion of the ISIL forces of Mosul.

MS. PSAKI: Well, as I think you would expect, we remain in close touch with our NATO allies and allies around the world, including Turkey, in situations as dire as the security situation on the ground in Mosul. And this was no different. I’m not aware of any other warning we would have been able to provide.

QUESTION: And lastly, it seems today number of reports coming out that the YPG forces of the Kurds are right now moving to Mosul to clash or resist with the ISIL. Do you have any information on that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, the Kurdish Regional Government is in cooperation with the federal government in Iraq about working together to address the security situation, so I’d point you to them on details of their plans.

QUESTION: You called it a deteriorating security situation. Isn’t it much more grave than that? I mean, you have a group that al-Qaida regards as more extreme than themselves taking over large chunks of Iraq. And the billions of dollars America has spent on training these forces, they seem to have simply disappeared in the sand. Is not this more a case of being a total failure of Western policy in Iraq?

MS. PSAKI: I would strongly disagree with that. We’re talking about events over the last couple of days that I think we’ve been very clear about how strong our concerns are, about the deteriorating situation in Mosul. That has not changed. We’ve been as – we sent our deputy assistant secretary, one of our foremost experts on Iraq, there over the weekend to assist in every capacity possible. We’re looking to increase our support for – to the Iraqi Government. So I think all of those are clear signals about how concerned we are and how committed we are to our partners in Iraq.

QUESTION: But it’s a phrase you could have used at any point in previous years. This is much more serious than previous deteriorating security situations, surely.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think I’ve spoken to how concerned we are, so I don’t think there should be a question about that.

QUESTION: Okay, just to kind of bring Syria back in, okay?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: So you’re helping the Iraqi Government. You see what a grave concern this is as far as Iraq is concerned, and you’re giving the Iraqi Government the support it needs to go after these guys.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: But you’re not making a distinction, are you, between the group’s activities in Iraq and the group’s activities in Syria? I mean, they’re just as deadly to the Syrian people as the Iraqi people, and they’re going back and forth across the border. So how do you reconcile what you’re doing with Iraq with the kind of cautious, understandably but recognizably cautious approach that you’re taking towards helping the rebels go after – or yourself going after ISIL in Syria?

MS. PSAKI: Well, they’re entirely different situations.

QUESTION: Really?

MS. PSAKI: And what we said yesterday – and I would point you to the statement we put out – was that the situation in Syria has been an enormous contributing factor to what we’re seeing in terms of –

QUESTION: No doubt.

MS. PSAKI: — the security situation in Iraq. There’s no doubt about that.

QUESTION: No doubt.

MS. PSAKI: Obviously the Government of Iraq has been a partner of ours on addressing terrorism for several years now. We know there have been ups and downs in that; there’s no question about that. But we remain committed to that effort and we will continue to be.

The situation in Syria – you’re talking about the Government of Syria, which has obviously been most responsible for inflicting terror on their own people. And we have worked and taken every step possible to bolster and support the rebels, whether that’s strengthening them politically, increasing our assistance. You heard the Secretary of State say over the weekend in an interview with CNN about our support for legislation, language that’s currently working its way through the Senate that would provide additional assistance to the vetted members of the armed opposition. They’re different situations, and we deal with them differently because that is what we feel is the most responsible approach.

QUESTION: Well, they’re different situations in the case of how you aid one and not the other, but it is the same situation, because as you, their activities in Syria are affecting their activities in Iraq and vice-versa. So can you say unequivocally now that you realize that you’re going to need to up arming and training and equipping these rebels, not necessarily only to go after the regime – which I know you want to get rid of the regime – but specifically to go after these ISIL guys?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve long been concerned about the impact of extremists, including from ISIL and other groups that have a presence in Syria. When the President gave his speech at West Point last week, I think – the week before, one of the pieces he talked quite a bit about is the changing threat of terrorism, and that’s why he talked about a $5 billion counterterrorism fund that would assist countries and threats in places like Iraq and places like neighboring countries around Syria, because we’ve known that this threat was one that we would – that we have been long concerned about.

QUESTION: But if you’re going to go after ISIL in Iraq through your support for the Iraqi Government, that can’t be in a vacuum, right? I mean, you need to go after these guys in Iraq and in Syria, correct?

MS. PSAKI: Certainly. But I think we’ve been consistently – we’ve consistently said that the threat of terrorism is a concern for us in Syria. It has been as – but we also need to do – address that at the same time while addressing a path forward for a transitional governing body because of the threats posed by the government.

QUESTION: But you agree that the same ISIL that is fighting the Syrian Government is the same one that is fighting the Iraqi Government, correct?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there are different coalitions and different factions, as you know, Said.

QUESTION: They claim to be one and the same. They claim to be one and the same.

MS. PSAKI: Well, there have been many different conflicting reports about that over the course of months, as you know. But regardless, any threat – any terrorist threat – there are many that, unfortunately, exist in that particular region – are of concern to us, and that’s why we are upping our focus on the changing threat – changing threats that we’re facing today.

QUESTION: And today, Bashar al-Assad said that he’s willing to go after them to aid the Iraqi Government. Would you welcome that?

MS. PSAKI: I think we’ve been pretty clear over time, Said, that Assad and the horrific acts that he’s taken against his own people is a concern we have – we continue to have.

QUESTION: So – yes. When do you expect the Senate to vote on the new legislation to aid the Syrian opposition?

MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as part of the NDAA, so beyond that there are obviously additional legislative steps that would need to be taken.

QUESTION: Why is that? It wasn’t a Senate – Armed Services?

MS. PSAKI: Oh, sorry. I’m – you’re right. Senate Armed Services.

QUESTION: What – right. But is that what this all is dependent on? I mean, that could take months. And in fact, unless something happened while we were away last week, you don’t even have congressional – even a signal that they’re going to sign off on this $5 billion counterterrorism program. Is that what you’re waiting for to give the Iraqis new assistance?

MS. PSAKI: No. I wasn’t stating that at all.

QUESTION: Oh. Okay.

MS. PSAKI: Elise was asking me about Syria, and that’s a separate question.

QUESTION: Right. Well, you said – I think you said that the countries like Iraq, in relation to the 5 billion –

MS. PSAKI: Well, the counterterrorism fund –

QUESTION: — but we’re talking about –

MS. PSAKI: — is separate from the Levin language.

QUESTION: Understood. But I just want to make sure that the stuff that you are – the additional assistance that you say that you’re – you intend to send to the Iraqis to deal with this immediate threat, which is post-immediate, actually –

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: I mean, it’s pretty bad. It’s worse than deteriorating, I think. That is not contingent on any kind of congressional action, is it?

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, we’re considering a range of options, so I don’t know yet what it will be. But there are a range of resources –

QUESTION: But it’s outside of the 5 billion for counterterrorism.

MS. PSAKI: Yes. It’s not linked to that. No.

QUESTION: Just one more back on ISIL. Do you have any kind of diplomatic solution to this ISIL problem in Mosul?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think one is the importance of unity among the different factions of the Iraqi Government in combatting the threat. And that has not been the case for some time. We feel that will certainly strengthen their ability to fight terrorism and the common threat they face.

QUESTION: So you don’t see any kind of diplomatic track with the ISIL forces, right?

MS. PSAKI: Negotiations with them?

QUESTION: Yes.

MS. PSAKI: I think our focus right now is on strengthening and unifying the different factions of the Iraqi Government to take on the terrorists and the threats they pose.

QUESTION: Does the U.S. Government have any kind of military planning at this moment to intervene the situation?

MS. PSAKI: I think I’ve already outlined everything I can say on that front.

QUESTION: But you mentioned several times the unity of the Iraqi Government, and right now that you’re happy with that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I wouldn’t say we’re satisfied, but we were encouraged by calls for national unity. We’re encouraged by efforts for the KRG to work with the Iraqi federal government on security – addressing the security challenges. We have to see what happens over the coming days.

QUESTION: Right, okay. But so far they’re just calls. I mean, you’ve – well, maybe you are encouraged. I – you’re saying –

MS. PSAKI: They’ve started to cooperate on the security front.

QUESTION: But are you encouraged with the results thus far?

MS. PSAKI: It’s just –

QUESTION: I mean, it seems to be more running away.

MS. PSAKI: It’s just begun, Matt. It’s just begun.

QUESTION: Okay. And then you also said several times that Iraq is a government – Iraq and the Government of Iraq are a crucial partner in the fight against – counterterrorism, and you’re convinced that that still remains the case when there are armed forces that you – this country and others spent billions and billions of dollars training and equipping are fleeing and abandoning their – abandoning all this equipment to the ISIL. That this still –

MS. PSAKI: Well, the Government of Iraq has called for an investigation of that. Clearly, the situation is murky on the ground and –

QUESTION: Right, but –

MS. PSAKI: — we’ll see what we learn from that process.

QUESTION: Right. But the Government of Iraq calling for an investigation into it is different than the Government of Iraq actually being a partner or at least a reasonable, a viable partner in the fight when – I mean, it’s not like Maliki is going to strap on a gun and go out there himself and – or drive a tank, I don’t think. He – I mean, it’s his military. It’s the Iraqi Government’s military combined with maybe the Kurds who are going to do this. And you’re saying that you still believe, given the events of the last several days, that the Iraqi Government and the Iraqi army are a crucial or are a viable partner?

MS. PSAKI: Well, they have been an important partner over the course of several years, Matt.

QUESTION: Jen –

QUESTION: And remain so, is that what you’re saying?

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: To what extent do you think Prime Minister Maliki is responsible for what we are viewing in Iraq today?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to give an evaluation of that. What I will say is that there have been a range of security challenges that have been posed on the ground. We agree that all Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Maliki can do more to address unresolved issues there to better meet the needs of the Iraqi people. However, the threat to Iraq’s stability right now is from ISIL. They have an ideology that has little to do with Iraqi domestic politics. It has to do with taking territory and terrorizing the Iraqi people. And so there’s more that can be done, including taking a more unified approach to the challenges and the threats of terrorism that they face. And we are closely engaged with them on those efforts.

QUESTION: But he’s been prime minister since eight years, and this is the results of the eight years now.

MS. PSAKI: Well, there’s no question there have been challenging times, including the terrible security situation that we’re seeing on the ground now. But we remain committed to working with the Iraqi Government, providing them assistance that we can, and seeing if we can move forward.

QUESTION: Just one follow-up.

QUESTION: And last one for me –

QUESTION: Can I follow up? Or – go ahead.

QUESTION: One on Iran. Do you expect an Iranian role in the near future to help the Iraqi Government defending its territories and the government?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’d encourage them to play a more constructive role, but I don’t have any predictions of what role they may or may not play.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Michel was implicitly getting to are the longstanding and fairly well documented accustations that Prime Minister Maliki has not governed in a particularly inclusive manner, has in fact alienated large portions of the minorities – notably the Sunnis – within his own country. And that one thing that has fueled what now appears to be full-fledged insurgency against his government is that very failure to govern inclusively. You don’t think that? You think it’s just a security problem and his governance –

MS. PSAKI: Absolutely not, and I didn’t state it was just a security problem. And we’ve expressed in the past our concerns about the lack of inclusivity. We have encouraged that publicly as well as privately. That’s part of the strong message that we have been sending, that Deputy Assistant Secretary McGurk has been expressing not just on this visit but on several over the course of the last few months. That’s why I emphasized the importance of the call for national unity. Does that fix every – heal every issue from the past? No. But is it an encouraging step moving forward? It could be.

QUESTION: Would you say –

QUESTION: Sorry, one point on this one. Why you cannot say that he is responsible for the situation?

MS. PSAKI: Because I think the situation, that those responsible for the situation, are the terrorists from ISIL.

QUESTION: Would you say, Jen, that the U.S. has been completely caught by surprise by the events on the ground? That you didn’t see the offensive of the ISIL coming?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to detail further what we were watching over the course of weeks, as I wouldn’t normally in any case. Clearly, we’ve been concerned over the course of the last several months about incidents of violence, and that’s one of the reasons that we have increased our support in a range of capacities. But beyond that, I don’t have anything to peel back for you.

QUESTION: So you were not surprised by the strength and the speed of the offensive?

MS. PSAKI: Again, I’m just not going to outline any road – what’s happening on the ground.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: Jen, I’m baffled, because yesterday you and the White House said this was extremely serious; it could threaten the entire region. Today these reports of U.S.-supplied military hardware –

MS. PSAKI: I’ve said that again today.

QUESTION: Well, today you’re saying it’s a deteriorating security situation, which sounds less serious.

MS. PSAKI: No, please don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve said that – I’ve said that, but I’ve also said that we’re extremely concerned about the horrific situation on the ground.

QUESTION: Has it become more serious today?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we track it every day. I’m not going to do a day-by-day evaluation. But obviously, we’re deeply concerned. We remain concerned about the deteriorating situation on the ground. That’s why we’re working so closely with the government, whether it’s on the political track or taking steps to increase assistance.

QUESTION: And do you think Baghdad is under threat from ISIL?

MS. PSAKI: Again, we – as I said yesterday but remains the case today, this is not just a threat to a particular region. It is to the people of Iraq and to the entire region, including surrounding countries.

QUESTION: Surely the situation is more grave today, because they have overtaken Tikrit, they are moving towards Samarra that really launched the civil war back in 2006, they’re about to attack the holy shrine there. So the situation is far more grave today –

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’ve said it’s deteriorating.

QUESTION: — than it was.

MS. PSAKI: That’s what “deteriorating” means.

Do we have any more on Iraq?

QUESTION: Are you –

MS. PSAKI: Oh. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Are you surprised at least the collapse of the Iraqi army after decades and billions of dollars of U.S. investment? Are you surprised by that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as I’ve noted a few times here, we’ve been concerned about the growing threat of terrorism in Iraq and other parts of the region. We talked about that in our terrorism reports that we issue every single year. And actually, I brought a copy because I wanted to make this point.

In here, we talk about the threat of ISIL – the threat to Syria, the threat to Iraq. This is something we’ve been closely tracking and we’ve been taking steps to address. So I want to just remind you that because this is on the front page of the news, it doesn’t mean that we haven’t been closely watching, closely working with the Iraqi Government, concerned about what we’ve been seeing on the ground for some time now.

QUESTION: So that means you are not surprised by collapse of the Iraqi military? Is that what we are supposed to –

MS. PSAKI: Again, I mentioned already – and I know a couple of people have asked the same question, which is that we – the Iraqi Government is looking into what happened on the ground. Obviously there have been ups and downs over the course of the last several years. Iraq remains an important partner in addressing terrorism, and that continues to be the case.

Go ahead, Elise.

QUESTION: That’s exactly what you said; you have been working on this for several months. It’s not kind of – you didn’t just wake up to it today. You have been –

MS. PSAKI: The threat of ISIL? Yes, absolutely.

QUESTION: Well, no – but you’ve been trying to help the Iraqi Government and support them. Clearly it’s not enough, and the fact that not only were they growing in strength, but now they’re taking over Iraqi towns. So the question is what are – are you just going to continue to provide support to the Iraqi Government? Is there any possible chance at all that the U.S. may be willing to consider military measures of its own?

MS. PSAKI: Again, we are continuing to consider ways to help the Iraqis. I don’t have anything further to outline than that at this point.

QUESTION: Jen?

Go ahead.

QUESTION: I’m sorry I’m like late.

MS. PSAKI: That’s okay. Go ahead.

QUESTION: So maybe you mentioned on that part that the Turkish Government requested a meeting with NATO on this?

QUESTION: No, we haven’t talked about that at all. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: No, NATO meeting, it was – I mean, just –

MS. PSAKI: I addressed that and I pointed everyone to Turkey and the NATO – and to NATO.

QUESTION: Jen, one last question for me: Are you concerned about the sophisticated arms that you have delivered to the Iraqi military?

MS. PSAKI: In terms of what could be in the hands of others?

QUESTION: Exactly.

QUESTION: Do you think U.S. arms are in their hands?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I stated I think a little bit earlier in the briefing that that is a situation we’re looking closely into to assess what they might have their hands on. Of course we would be concerned if they did – they do.

Do we have any more on Iraq, or should we move on? Okay. Scott.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/06/227452.htm

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:48 PM

I have an uncle by marriage who went over to Iraq 3 different times for 6 months to a year to give Iraqis tank training. A few years ago we were talking about it and he predicted that the Iraqi soldiers would run as soon as they were faced with armed conflict. He said most of them were there because they got their bellies full and were able to make a little money and that they didn’t care about fighting against insurgents at all. He was right.

shubalstearns on June 11, 2014 at 10:45 PM

That is fairly typical of most third world armies. Some units like Saddam’s Republican Guard are different but most are for internal security work. Well armed savage police units.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Good old Thucydides…

Although from an infidels point of view (not living in that part of the world) it is beginning of a little rest.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:37 PM

???

pannw on June 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

So you and the ‘Jeffersonian’ rebels keep claiming.

It’s BS. When ISIL went to Syria, they began committing such horrific atrocities that they were THROWN OUT OF AL QAEDA.

These are not in any way, shape, or form allies of Assad.

Just look at their videos.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Of course this butcher will say this to claim that he has nothing to do with ISIS… But the reality on the ground in Syria is that ISIS has been fighting the rebels in the back and Assad has been fighting in the front… So Assad and ISIS are allies, it is that simple… Remember that this f*** Assad made Syria the main conduit of Al Qaeda terrorists, later become ISIS, to Iraq to fight our troops there and kill the Iraqis…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:40 PM

LOL…not likely. Assad is going to side with the Shia in this conflict because they are best chance for his goofy sect to survive. The Sunnis will slaughter him and his people. It is a simple choice of survival.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Iraq violence
5m
White House:

US ‘strongly condemns’ Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacks in Iraq; will stand with Iraqi leaders – statement
End of alert

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:51 PM

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Too much.

shubalstearns on June 11, 2014 at 10:52 PM

You have no idea what you are talking about… On the ground Assad and ISIS are not fighting each other and they are both fighting the rebels… Those are the facts and cannot be denied… I follow the Syrian war more than anyone else here and I know exactly what is going on…

No.

You’re a bizarre, really inept propagandist.

ISIL is beheading Syrian Arab Army soldiers left and right. I won’t link to any of the videos, but you can find them easily.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:54 PM

It’s BS. When ISIL went to Syria, they began committing such horrific atrocities that they were THROWN OUT OF AL QAEDA.

These are not in any way, shape, or form allies of Assad.

Just look at their videos.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

I know. Its just propaganda from those who desperately want a military intervention in Syria and are butthurt that Al-Qaeda is linked so closely to the rebels.

If you are too radical for Al-Qaeda membership, then son…you have issues!

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Somehow “We told you invading Iraq was a bad idea” just doesn’t quite do it…

JohnGalt23 on June 11, 2014 at 10:57 PM

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 10:40 PM

You sound like Jo…John? John McCain? Is that you?

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 11:00 PM

It will matter.

Its one thing to do a fly over. Something else to to have the fighters do their job.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 10:47 PM

My point is they will not likely face a significant air force to counter them so they will have air superiority. They are competent enough to hit troop concentrations, etc.

Now if the Sunnis jihadist have significant ground to air weapons and know how to use them, or if another air force becomes involved, like the Saudis it will be a different story.

Here is the inventory of the Arabians (yes it is wikipedia so look at it with caution)

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 11:00 PM

I know. Its just propaganda from those who desperately want a military intervention in Syria and are butthurt that Al-Qaeda is linked so closely to the rebels

Right you are.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Right again.

shubalstearns on June 11, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Good thing they put a reinforced roof on that place….
I hear it will accommodate three choppers at a time.

Another Drew on June 11, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Somehow “We told you invading Iraq was a bad idea” just doesn’t quite do it…

It would’ve been much better to keep no-fly zones in perpetuity while the UN sanctions broke down and Saddam smuggled in whatever he wanted by bribing those who oversaw Oil for Food.

And we should’ve just ignored this.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:02 PM

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Too much.

shubalstearns on June 11, 2014 at 10:52 PM

shubalstearns: Ya, I’m pushing it,ahems!:)

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 11:03 PM

They are competent enough to hit troop concentrations, etc.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Doubtful. They don’t have enough spare parts to fly their stuff for more than photo-ops.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 11:03 PM

My first out of three tours in that crap was the invasion. I was with 1st Battalion 5th Marines as we took the northern portion of Baghdad. Lots of fighting – crazy. Sorry to see this happen but regular Iraqis have to out their big boy pants on one way or the other.

MoreLiberty on June 11, 2014 at 11:04 PM

John F. Kerry is a known traitor.

The Clintons gave the key to Los Alamos Lab to the Commies of China and out went our missle secrets.

Obama hates U.S. all and is an active person of treason for his act of the illegal invasion going on now on the southern border areas.

Lies do kill.

The Commie American Democrat Party Liesand Committs treason wholesale.

They left all the South Viet’s behind to be killed.

They now leave all who helped U.S. in Afganistan, Iraq behnd to be killed by mad dog head chopping killers, fire of which Obama set free so they could attend this current killing spree.

Obama lies.

Truth is life. Seek life. Act upon the truth.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM

No.

You’re a bizarre, really inept propagandist.

ISIL is beheading Syrian Arab Army soldiers left and right. I won’t link to any of the videos, but you can find them easily.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 10:54 PM

A now they are allies, directly or indirectly… It is that simple… The facts cannot be refuted… ISIS has been in Syria since April 2013… Since January 2014 their only fight was with the rebels… In fact Assad is giving them air support in some cases in Deir Al Zour and Raqqa provinces of Syria where they are the strongest…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM

All the ISIS is interested in doing in Syria is the same as their objectives anywhere, to take territory. They ain’t allies of Assad.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 11:06 PM

So I ponder,…did the Tolly-Bon five for Bowe Bergdahl,
embolden the AQIragiIslamicIranianJihadyGoons.

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Somehow “We told you invading Iraq was a bad idea” just doesn’t quite do it…

JohnGalt23 on June 11, 2014 at 10:57 PM

It doesn’t quite do it because it’s wrong. We had to invade Iraq for many reasons.

I’ve got news for you, even if we hadn’t invaded Iraq this would still be happening. Look at the rest of the arab world and what Barky has done to promote the spread of pan-islamism. This has nothing to do with the Iraq War, except that Barky turned a good move (though bungled in the aftermath by Bush’s naive ideas) into a total fiasco. But, Barky did that with arab nations that we weren’t in, also. This is just Barky’s plan.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2014 at 11:08 PM

The New Iraqi Air Force: F-16IQ Block 52 Fighters
Jun 05, 2014 16:00 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
******************************************************

June 5/14: Delivery. The 1st F-16IQ is formally delivered to Iraq at a ceremony in Fort Worth, TX. A group of 3-4 jets will be ferried to Iraq before the end of 2014. Reuters:

“Lockheed said the Iraqi order would keep the F-16 production line running through late 2017, but it continues to bid for new orders in hopes of continuing production through 2020.”

Sources: Reuters, “Lockheed to deliver first of 36 F-16s to Iraq this week”.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/iraq-seeks-f-16-fighters-05057/

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 11:10 PM

All the ISIS is interested in doing in Syria is the same as their objectives anywhere, to take territory. They ain’t allies of Assad.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 11:06 PM

By only killing the Syrian rebels. Assad is doing nothing to ISIS and ISIS is doing nothing to Assad… Those are the facts… Those they are de-facto allies…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Pentagon announces $1 billion deal with Iraq
May. 14, 2014 – 05:08PM
***********************

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has cleared a nearly $1 billion package of aircraft trainers, surveillance aerostats and up-armored Humvees for the Iraqi military.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress Tuesday that the State Department approved the sale.

The largest part of the deal is 24 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II trainer aircraft. The turboprop aircraft and related services and equipment is estimated to cost $790 million.

“The proposed sale of these aircraft, equipment, and support will enhance the ability of the Iraqi forces to sustain themselves in their efforts to bring stability to Iraq and to prevent overflow of unrest into neighboring countries,” a DSCA notice states.

Iraq already flies the T-6A trainer. The T-6C has hard points on the wings and advanced avionics.

The aircraft are used to train pilots before they move to larger, more sophisticated aircraft. Iraq has already inked a deal to buy 36 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters. The first Iraqi F-16 made its initial flight last week.

The US Defense Department also green-lighted the sale of 200 AM General up-armored Humvees, which is valued at $101 million. The vehicles will be fitted for .50-caliber machine guns, communications gear and training equipment.

The vehicles “would facilitate progress towards increasing Iraq’s ability to defend its oil infrastructure against terrorist attacks,” the DSCA notice states. “Iraq will use the [Humvees] to increase the safety, effectiveness and self-reliance of the Iraqi Army’s Oil Pipeline Security Division.”

DoD also approved a $90 million sale for seven Raytheon aerostats and 14 deployment towers.

The systems would increase “Iraq’s ability to provide protection of national level command and control sites, military installations, and other critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks,” the DSCA notice states.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140514/NEWS08/305140031/Pentagon-announces-1-billion-deal-Iraq

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 11:11 PM

A now they are allies, directly or indirectly… It is that simple… The facts cannot be refuted… ISIS has been in Syria since April 2013… Since January 2014 their only fight was with the rebels… In fact Assad is giving them air support in some cases in Deir Al Zour and Raqqa provinces of Syria where they are the strongest…

No.

You’re not relating facts. If you were, you’d provide links.

ISIL or ISIS is so insane that it’s fighting all sides in Syria.

Ahrar al Sham’s conservative philosophy has been well known, but its ties to al Qaida had been unclear until Friday’s statement, which al Suri made through Twitter.

In that statement, al Suri said that ISIS, whose outposts in northern and eastern Syria have been attacked by other rebel groups for the past two weeks, had committed crimes against fellow rebels and Muslims in its attempt to use the Syrian rebellion to form its own radical Islamist state.

The statement cited al Suri’s close relationship with bin Laden and Zawahiri, and said that despite ISIS’ claims to be an al Qaida franchise, bin Laden, Zawahiri and Zarqawi could not be held responsible for ISIS’ crimes or behavior. ISIS has used brutal measures, including beheadings, to enforce its harsh interpretation of Islam in the areas of Syria it dominates, a blood thirst that had earned it the enmity of many Syrians.

Zawahiri had designated al Suri to mediate disputes between ISIS and other rebel groups, including the Nusra Front, another al Qaida affiliate battling in Syria.

Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s center in Doha, Qatar, called the denunciation of ISIS especially strong because it came from a powerful jihadi voice.


Read more here.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:13 PM

???

pannw on June 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM

I was being a bit of a smart ass…sorry.

‘This day will be to the Hellenes the beginning of great sorrows.’ Thucydides

This quote beat Matthew (in the Bible) by hundreds of years.

I am not a Christian…probably should have been clearer.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Iraqi Air Force Equipment

SYSTEMS

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/air-force-equipment.htm
=============

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

But Iraq’s appeals for military assistance have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011.

… Nature abhors a vacuum ….

A 150-man unit of the Quds Force, the elite section of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, has deployed to Iraq, supported by a team of Saberin, Tehran’s equivalent of the SAS. The troops will assist Iraqi forces as they regroup after the catastrophic loss of Mosul and Tikrit to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

J_Crater on June 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Waiting for a Vietnam like photo of the last US Copter about to depart the roof of the American embassy…Stuffed full of refugees.

b1jetmech on June 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Assad is doing nothing to ISIS and ISIS is doing nothing to Assad

Just because it isn’t in Assad’s interest to fight them now doesn’t mean they’re in cahoots with each other.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

LOL,…………………Peace Talks:

Iraq violence
5m
UN calls for crisis talks as Iraq militants say they will advance on Baghdad – @AFP
Read more on malaysia.msn.com

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Assad is doing nothing to ISIS and ISIS is doing nothing to Assad…

Well, except for attacking the Syrian army and killing them.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Just because it isn’t in Assad’s interest to fight them now doesn’t mean they’re in cahoots with each other.

The guy is lying.

No gore in this video, but it shows what ISIL does to soldiers of the SAA.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:20 PM

The al-Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Syria (ISIS)

POSTED AT 9:31 PM ON JUNE 11, 2014 BY NOAH ROTHMAN

FIFY. You might want to take a look at that.

Dunedainn on June 11, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Well, except for attacking the Syrian army and killing them.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Very old video in the dynamic Syrian war… As I said ISIS has been fighting the rebels since January 2014 and they are not fighting Assad since and Assad is not fighting them… The video you posted was from October 2013… ISIS has killed thousands of rebels since January 2014 and killed thousands of Syrian civilians… Since January 2014 ISIS barely killed anyone from Assad gangs and Assad gangs barely killed anyone from ISIS… So the absolute fact is that they direct or indirect de-facto allies…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Just because it isn’t in Assad’s interest to fight them now doesn’t mean they’re in cahoots with each other.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Yes they are directly or indirectly… Does it matter if they have an official pact or not… Both of them are only fighting the rebels since January 2014 and they are barely touching each others…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:22 PM

they are allies, directly or indirectly… It is that simple… The facts cannot be refuted…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM

What facts?

Your repeated assertions aren’t facts.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 11:23 PM

well it’s Bush’s war.

weedisgood on June 11, 2014 at 11:23 PM

You watch and see.

Putin will discern an advantage here soon, and will move with massive force to put down “the bad guys” in Iraq. He won’t heed any calls of excessive force, nor will it be on TV 24/7.

And when he’s done, he will have made his bones in the ME, and move to become the regional leader.

BTW, has anyone noticed that Saudi Arabia has been out of the news for like, a year or more? What are they up to?

BobMbx on June 11, 2014 at 11:23 PM

ISIS has killed thousands of rebels since January 2014 and killed thousands of Syrian civilians… Since January 2014 ISIS barely killed anyone from Assad gangs and Assad gangs barely killed anyone from ISIS…

Good. So now you’re changing your story.

We went from, “YOU IDIOTS! ISIL AND ASSAD ARE ALLIES!” to “Assad has stepped out of the way to let the rebels fight it out because it’s to his advantage when the rebels are in disarray.”

See? Telling the truth makes you feel better, doesn’t it?

Thanks for coming clean. Your post backs my position, that ISIL is so insane that it can’t get along with anybody.

But they’re not allies of Assad, de facto or otherwise.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:25 PM

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Do you even follow the Syrian war you f***ing moron? Tell me how many rebels were killed by ISIS since January 2014 vs. how many Assad gangs were killed by Assad or vice versa? Thousands of rebels were killed by ISIS and thousands of ISIS were killed by the rebels…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Yes they are directly or indirectly… Does it matter if they have an official pact or not… Both of them are only fighting the rebels since January 2014 and they are barely touching each others…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Why are you so invested in claiming they have some ties to Assad? If Assad prevails they ain’t giving up their territory without a fight, same with the rebels, same with anyone. Only side they’re on is their own.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Ahh…thought it was probably something like that.

pannw on June 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Somewhere Valerie Jarrett is screeching into a phone to the Pentagon, “No helicopters on the roof! No helicopters on the roof! I don’t want any pictures of helicopters on the roof!”

Wethal on June 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

If so, she prefers blindfolds. We know Plugs does.

Steve Eggleston on June 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Putin will discern an advantage here soon, and will move with massive force to put down “the bad guys” in Iraq. He won’t heed any calls of excessive force, nor will it be on TV 24/7.

BobMbx on June 11, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Putin isn’t that stupid. He might supply equipment and arms, but no troops. The Iranians are another story. They may well get invited in by Baghdad.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 11:27 PM

BTW, has anyone noticed that Saudi Arabia has been out of the news for like, a year or more? What are they up to?

Working with the Israelis to build up their military.

They’ve adopted the “tsunami of lead” approach to warfare.

Stick with it…

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:29 PM

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Hey moron… What is so hard to understand… Assad and ISIS are both killing the rebels but they are not doing anything to each others since January 2014… That is called a de-facto alliance…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:29 PM

The left has been saying that this was “Just like Vietnam” for years now…well, they’ve finally got their wish.

29Victor on June 11, 2014 at 11:29 PM

“Iraqi officials told the Guardian that upwards of 30,000 soldiers — two divisions — simply fled from about 800 ISIS fighters. The militants joyfully seized U.S.-made Humvees and BlackHawks, according to numerous reports and photographic evidence, as well as SCUDs and Howitzers, and transported many back to Syria to share with extremists [Friends of Obama and McCain] there.”

VorDaj on June 11, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Hey moron… What is so hard to understand… Assad and ISIS are both killing the rebels but they are not doing anything to each others since January 2014… That is called a de-facto alliance…

Whatever you say, sonny.

Goodbye, now.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 11, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Doubtful. They don’t have enough spare parts to fly their stuff for more than photo-ops.

cozmo on June 11, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Depends…also I should say I am now talking about their air force in total, not just American made fighters now.

How much reverse engineering has been done?

How much have the Russians and Chinese hooked them up with? Have the Russians or Chinese sold them any fighters, attack planes, etc? Both countries have denied they have, but there has been numerous reports out of Israel that it has taken place.

Have they, or with help, been able to adapt any Russian or Chinese made missiles, replacement parts, etc to their American designed planes?

We just don’t know at this point. It probably is not great, I will admit that. But even the Sudanese rolling bombs out of the back of ancient Soviet transport planes did a fair amount of damage in the Sudanese Civil War. Obviously the Iranians are more competent than that by a long shot.

William Eaton on June 11, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Why are you so invested in claiming they have some ties to Assad? If Assad prevails they ain’t giving up their territory without a fight, same with the rebels, same with anyone. Only side they’re on is their own.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM

I am just reporting the basic facts… ISIS/Assad are both fighting the rebels but they are not fighting each others since January 2014… This is a de-facto alliance against the rebels…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:32 PM

well it’s Bush’s war.

weedisgood on June 11, 2014 at 11:23 PM

weedisgood:

You mean, on Hopey’s Watch, as Bush left it in good shape,
till Obama neglected it, same goes for Afghanistan!!

canopfor on June 11, 2014 at 11:33 PM

Why are you so invested in claiming they have some ties to Assad? If Assad prevails they ain’t giving up their territory without a fight, same with the rebels, same with anyone. Only side they’re on is their own.

lowandslow on June 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Because that way the Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda affiliated groups can be the ‘moderates’ deserving military support and intervention, and Assad/ISIS the radical bad guys who need to be deposed.

Obama/Erdogan get their way.

sharrukin on June 11, 2014 at 11:34 PM

All is proceeding according to plan.
-President* Barack “Alinsky” Obama

What, me worry?
-President* Barack “Alfred E.” Obama

American Exceptionalism? Every country is exceptional
-President* Barack “Hello Greece” Obama

That Putin is a sexy beast.
-President* Barack “Beta” Obama

motionview on June 11, 2014 at 11:34 PM

If so, she prefers blindfolds. We know Plugs does.

Steve Eggleston on June 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Since she was born in Iran she still have compassion to that country and hence she may prefer the way the Iranian Islamic terrorist regime did it to our guys in 1979, blindfolding…

mnjg on June 11, 2014 at 11:35 PM

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