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Nov 24, 2014

Hagel resigns as U.S. Defense secretary, official says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned, the first major cabinet change after Obama’s Democrats were routed in mid-term elections three weeks ago.

Obama was to announce Hagel’s resignation at a White House event at 11:10 a.m. (1610 GMT) on Monday.

Nov 24, 2014

Hagel resigns as Defense Secretary, official says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned, the first major cabinet change after Obama’s Democrats were routed in mid-term elections three weeks ago.

Obama was to announce Hagel’s resignation at a White House event at 11:10 a.m. on Monday.

Nov 22, 2014

U.S. plans to arm Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen with AK-47s, RPGs, mortars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to buy arms for Sunni tribesmen in Iraq including AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds to help bolster the battle against Islamic State militants in Anbar province, according to a Pentagon document prepared for Congress.

The plan to spend $24.1 million represents a small fraction of the larger, $1.6 billion spending request to Congress focusing on training and arming Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Nov 20, 2014

U.S. to send new troops to Iraq even before Congress OKs funds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some of the 1,500 new U.S. troops authorized to advise and train Iraqi forces in their fight against Islamic State militants will deploy to the country in the next few weeks without waiting for Congress to fund the mission, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said leading elements of the U.S. force would begin moving to Iraq in the coming weeks, even if Congress has not yet acted on a $5.6 billion supplemental request to fund the expanded fight against the militants who overran northwestern Iraq earlier this year.

Nov 17, 2014

For top U.S. general, a sober return to still-divided Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – On his first trip to Iraq since American troops returned this summer, the top U.S. general was dogged by a nagging question from troops.

    At meetings over the weekend, soldiers and Marines asked General Martin Dempsey variations on the same basic question: Even if the U.S.-backed campaign succeeds in rolling back Islamic State, what is to prevent this from happening again, years from now?

Nov 16, 2014

U.S. forces already advising Iraqi forces in Anbar province

INCIRLIK AIR BASE Turkey (Reuters) – American forces have begun advising Iraqi troops in the western Anbar province, the top U.S. general told Reuters, in a faster-than-expected expansion of an operation that is central to its campaign against Islamic State.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a small group of advisers had already established themselves in a preliminary fashion at Ain al-Asad air base in the province, much of which is controlled by the militant Islamist group.

Nov 16, 2014

U.S. military chief says battle with IS starting to turn

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The United States’ top military officer told American troops on a surprise visit to Baghdad on Saturday that the momentum in the battle with Islamic State was “starting to turn”, but predicted a drawn-out campaign lasting several years.

    General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was visiting Iraq for the first time since President Barack Obama responded to Islamic State advances this summer by ordering troops back into a country they left in 2011.

Nov 16, 2014

U.S. military chief says battle with Islamic State starting to turn

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The United States’ top military officer told American troops on a surprise visit to Baghdad on Saturday that the momentum in the battle with Islamic State was “starting to turn”, but predicted a drawn-out campaign lasting several years.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was visiting Iraq for the first time since President Barack Obama responded to Islamic State advances this summer by ordering troops back into a country they left in 2011.

Nov 15, 2014

Iraq troops close in on Baiji refinery, Dempsey in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Iraqi security forces appeared
close on Saturday to retaking the country’s biggest refinery
which was besieged by Islamic State militants hours after the
top U.S. military officer arrived ahead of an expanded American
mission.

General Martin Dempsey paid his first trip to Iraq since
President Barack Obama, alarmed by Islamic State advances,
ordered non-combatant American forces back into the country this
summer.

Nov 15, 2014

Top U.S. general arrives in Iraq as military campaign expands

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer, General Martin Dempsey, arrived on Saturday in Baghdad on an unannounced visit to meet U.S. commanders preparing to increase American assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces battling Sunni Islamic State (IS) militants.

It was Dempsey’s first trip to Iraq since President Barack Obama, alarmed by Islamic State advances, ordered non-combatant American forces back into the country this summer, less than three years after withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. U.S. air strikes began in August.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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