Baghdad official sees no need for foreign troops to fight in his country

Iraq needs more equipment, training and intelligence but not ground troops from the U.S. or any other country, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said on Friday.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Mr. Jaafari said Iraq has “not asked any country around the world to send boots on the ground to fight on behalf of Iraqis.”

“It is true that we more need equipment, training intelligence, air force coverage but we do not need ground troops and bases from this country or that country,” he said.

The minister’s remarks come after U.S. General David Petraeus, the former Army general credited with turning the tide against al Qaeda in Iraq more than eight years ago, told a Senate panel earlier this week the U.S. should increase military support in the Middle East, including sending combat advisers into Iraq, significantly deepening Washington’s role there.

Mr. Petraeus recommended the U.S. increase support for the Iraqi Security Forces, Sunni tribal forces and Kurdish Peshmerga forces to include embedding American advisers.

There are currently some 3,500 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Mr. Jaafari said his country’s military, with the support of international airstrikes, was winning the flight against Islamic State in Iraq despite numerous setbacks.

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