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Iraqi Leader Says More U.S. Troops Not Needed To Fight IS


Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the United States does not need to send more special forces to fight Islamic State, and should ask for Iraq's permission to do so.

Abadi made his statement after U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress December 1 that the United States will deploy about 200 special operations forces against IS, which officials said likely would be based in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

"We do not need foreign ground combat forces on Iraqi land," Abadi said, adding that "any military operation or the deployment of any foreign forces - special or not - in any place in Iraq cannot happen without its approval and coordination and full respect of Iraqi sovereignty."

Abadi's remarks build on his assertion November 30 that Iraq "has enough men and resolve to defeat Daesh" on its own.

Carter said the "specialized expeditionary targeting force" will be modeled on a successful campaign last month by U.S. special forces allied with Kurdish peshmerga fighters to regain control of Sinjar in northern Iraq from IS. The Kurdish regional government has been open to such joint efforts.

About 3,500 U.S. troops currently advise and train Iraqi forces.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
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