visit to Iraq, Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said Iraqi
military forces have been demonstrating "tactical success" against
ISIS terrorists in recent days, and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq are
consolidating gains. The Iraqis are steadily pushing the "defensive
belt" around Baghdad out and to the north, said Dempsey during a
Washington, D.C., defense conference. "I think there will be continued
progress, but we will have to make sure their enthusiasm does not overshadow
their capability," he said. At the same time, Kurdish peshmerga fighters
have extended their influence to the southern edge of Kirkuk, he said. Dempsey
stressed that US forces in Iraq are in a different role than during Operation
Iraqi Freedom. He relayed an example of how the planning for an aerial resupply
mission played out in a joint US-Iraqi operations center during his visit. The US commander
noted to the Iraqis they had C-130s themselves to carry out the airdrop, but
said US advisers would help rig and pack the bundles for the mission. “Instead
of owning it, we tell them from the start, this has to be about you,” said
Dempsey. "They flew [the mission], we fill in the gaps and build
capability," he said.
Find out what senior Air Force and industry leaders had to say at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.
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