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Pentagon: Iraq minister says his troops will go on offensive against Islamic State militants

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014, file photo, Army soldiers search Iraqis amid tight security during Eid al-Adha celebrations in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq’s fractured army has begun to regroup and stage modest, localized attacks on the Islamic State militants who routed them last spring and summer, but they are unlikely to be ready to launch a major counteroffensive for many months, senior U.S. military officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014, file photo, Army soldiers search Iraqis amid tight security during Eid al-Adha celebrations in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq’s fractured army has begun to regroup and stage modest, localized attacks on the Islamic State militants who routed them last spring and summer, but they are unlikely to be ready to launch a major counteroffensive for many months, senior U.S. military officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Pentagon says Iraq's new defense minister says his troops will go on the offensive against Islamic State militants who have taken over large sections of the country.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, says Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi spoke with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel by phone Thursday. He says al-Obeidi told Hagel he has every intention of going after the extremists and he vowed to rebuild the Iraqi military and ensure his troops are well trained and equipped. Kirby says the minister said he will build an inclusive Army that the Iraqi people will trust.

Iraqi troops were overrun by the extremists, and many Iraqi troops dropped their weapons and fled. U.S. officials have blamed the rout on poor leadership and deep sectarian divisions within the government.