The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday (June 18) said the Pentagon has received a request from the Iraq government for American air power to counter the offensive launched by militant fighters of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
“It is in our national security interest to counter ISIL wherever we find them,” U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey told the Senate Appropriations Committee.
He did not elaborate on the specific of the Iraqi request.
Dempsey, as well as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said the precarious military situation for the Iraq’s Shia-led government is due, in part, by its failure to establish a wider coalition with Sunni and Kurdish leaders.
“The men and women who served in Iraq did exactly what we asked them to do. Al Qaeda-inspired extremists raising flags over Iraq’s embattled cities triggers in me the same thing that runs through the mind of any veteran who served there, which is bitter disappointment that Iraq’s leaders failed to unite for the good of their people. I share alarm about the future of Iraq and we are developing a full range of options to help stabilize the region,” Dempsey said.