Thursday, December 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

More US troops to Iraq; special forces considered

John Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the Our Ocean conference, Monday, at the State Department in Washington. The Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists, Kerry said Monday. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

By
June 18, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — The United State is deploying up to 275 military troops to Iraq to protect the U.S. Embassy and other American interests and is considering sending a contingent of special forces soldiers as Iraq struggles to repel a rampant insurgency, officials said Monday. The White House insisted anew the U.S. would not be sending combat troops and thrusting America into a new Iraq war.

President Barack Obama, in a formal report to Congress, said the troops in in the deployment he was announcing would be equipped for combat and would remain in Iraq until the security situation improved. About 160 troops are already in Iraq, including 50 Marines and more than 100 Army soldiers. Some of those soldiers have only recently arrived.

Under the authorization Obama outlined Monday, a U.S. official said, the U.S. would put an additional 100 soldiers in a nearby third country where they would be held in reserve until needed.

Separately, U.S. officials emphasized that a possible limited special forces mission – which has not yet been approved – would focus on training and advising beleaguered Iraqi troops, many of whom have fled their posts across the nation’s north and west as the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency has advanced in the worst threat to the country since American troops left in 2011.

But the plan suggests a willingness by Obama to send Americans into a collapsing security situation, though explicitly ruling out putting U.S. troops into direct combat in Iraq, and how far he might be willing to go to quell the brutal fighting in Iraq before it morphs into outright war.

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. is willing to talk with Iran over ways the two long-time foes might help stop the insurgents known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. It was Washington’s first explicit overture to the Islamic Republic to jointly work on threats that confront Iraq, although U.S. officials quickly tamped down speculation that the discussion might include military coordination or consultation.

In an interview Monday with Yahoo! News, Kerry said the U.S. would “not rule out anything that would be constructive” but stressed that any contacts with Iran would move “step-by-step.”

The White House says the U.S. military personnel are entering Iraq with the consent of that country’s government.

Last Friday, Obama declared that “we will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq.” But he said the White House was considering other options to support Iraqi security forces. Three U.S. officials familiar with ongoing discussions on Monday said the potential of sending special forces to Iraq is high on a list of military options being considered.

It’s not clear how quickly the special forces could arrive in Iraq. It’s also unknown whether they would remain in Baghdad or be sent to the nation’s north, where the Sunni Muslim insurgency has captured large swaths of territory collaring Baghdad, the capital of the Shiite-led government.

The mission almost certainly would be small: One U.S. official said it could be up to 100 special forces soldiers. It also could be authorized only as an advising and training mission – meaning the soldiers would work closely with Iraqi forces that are fighting the insurgency but would not officially be considered as combat troops.

The troops would fall under the authority of the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad and would not be authorized to engage in combat, another U.S. official said. Their mission would be “non-operational training” of both regular and counter terrorism units, which the military has in the past interpreted to mean training on military bases, the official said.

However, all U.S. troops are allowed to defend themselves in Iraq if they are under attack. Already, about 100 Marines and Army soldiers have been sent to Baghdad to help with embassy security, according to a U.S. official.

The three U.S. officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the plans by name.

Obama made the end of the war in Iraq one of his signature campaign issues, and has touted the U.S. military withdrawal in December 2011 as one of his top foreign policy successes. But he has been caught over the past week between Iraqi officials pleading for help – as well as Republicans blaming him for the loss of a decade’s worth of gains in Iraq – and his anti-war Democratic political base, which is demanding that the U.S. stay out of the fight.

While the White House continues to review its options, Iran’s military leaders are starting to step into the beach.

The commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, was in Iraq on Monday and consulting with the government there on how to stave off insurgents’ gains. Iraqi security officials said the U.S. government was notified in advance of the visit by Soleimani, whose forces are a secretive branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that in the past has organized Shiite militias to target U.S. troops in Iraq and, more recently, was involved in helping Syria’s President Bashar Assad in his fight against Sunni rebels.

In the short term, the U.S. and Iran both want the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stabilized and the Sunni-led insurgency stopped. But in the long run, the United States would like to see an inclusive, representative democracy take hold in Iraq, while predominantly Shiite Iran is more focused on protecting Iraq’s Shiite population and bolstering its own position as a regional power against powerful Sunni Arab states in the Gulf.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said any discussion with Iran would concern ways that Iran could help press al-Maliki’s government to be more inclusive and treat all of Iraq’s religious and ethnic groups equally.

Any talks with Iran “would be to discuss the political component here and our interest in encouraging Iraqi leaders to act in a responsible, nonsectarian way,” she told reporters. “Certainly a discussion of that is something that we would be open to.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Thinking about holiday discards? Cities, Scouts ready to help

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Christmas Eve event features Bible, bikes

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

It’s easy to remember some Christmas memories

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Man’s walk for peace enters Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Conservancy schedules next Quail Ridge hike

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

$3,500 nets Dixon man $9, he says

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Suisun waterfront to host restaurant week

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Deadline nears for BookFest authors’ contest

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield man wants $28,828 returned

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

10 years after tsunami, Indonesian family reborn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Governor issues 105 pardons, many for drug crimes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Regulations would expand coastal California sanctuaries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Sony broadly releases ‘The Interview’ in reversal of plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Storm expected to bring Christmas snow to Sierra

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
After NYC deaths, a surge of support for police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Denver shelters cite legal pot in homeless upswing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Officer kills armed 18-year-old near Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Interrogation program mismanaged, Senate, CIA agree

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
IS shoots down warplane in Syria, captures Jordanian pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Curfew in India state after rebels kill 63

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NKorea outage a case study in online uncertainties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Grisly finds in Iraqi Yazidi village wrested from militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Russia in offer to help firms with foreign debts

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A7

Russia: NATO pushed Kiev to drop nonaligned status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Cuba’s relations with Catholic Church hit high point

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Abe takes office for 3rd term as Japan’s leader

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Iraq: Suicide attack kills 24 people near Baghdad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sony tries to save face with ‘Interview’ flip-flop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Who hacked Sony becomes Internet’s new mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

My grandson wants what for Christmas?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

 
Letting go

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Immunity and interrogators: a second look

By Walter Pincus | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
A partridge in a pear tree will cost a bit more this year

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Court denies Polanski’s motion to dismiss 1977 sex case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Domestic violence at forefront of NFL in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Elvis Stojko, Bourne bring skating to small stage

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B2

 
New-Look NBA: In Milwaukee, a new hope rises

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Alabama’s Sims proves critics wrong with big season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Associated Press Sports Story of the Year Winners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Masters races to keep field under 100 players

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks forward John Scott suspended 4 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Typical NFL season: smiles for some, frowns for others

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA prepares for Christmas coming-out party

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B2

Titans lead Bucs for top pick in NFL draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tyler Summitt easing into head coaching career

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Walmart tests gift card exchange

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Applications for US jobless aid fall to 7-week low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Honda recalls 1,252 Crosstours over side air bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Unions make push to recruit protected immigrants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9