Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Lukman Faily | iraq | isis | arms

Ambassador: US, Iraq 'Need to Help Each Other' in ISIS Fight

Ambassador: US, Iraq 'Need to Help Each Other' in ISIS Fight
(John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 May 2015 11:22 AM

Iraqi armed forces are fighting every day, Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Lukman Faily told CNN Friday, striking back at controversial comments made by U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Sunday that Iraq lacks the will to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

"Every day we are having fighting in Anbar, and all other fronts that we have," Faily told CNN's "New Day" program. "The army is doing it, and the people of the Sunni tribes are all doing it together."

He said that on Thursday alone, more than 1,000 Iraqi troops joined with Anbar tribes in fighting the Islamic State.

"We are all having this fight," said Faily. "This is our fight, and we need help, but this is our fight."

Further, Faily told CNN that Iraq will arm Sunnis, Kurds, and any side willing to fight ISIS, as all help is welcomed, but agrees that the United States has to work through Iraq's central government.

"The U.S. is consistently saying it has to work through the central government, and certainly (that is true) for the sovereignty of the country, and the government is a formation of all parties, including Sunnis," said Faily. "The minister of defense is a Sunni ... and we have been providing arms. However, we have limited amount of them ... we have limited ammunitions.

"Whatever we have been getting, whatever we have been able to buy, we have been giving a fair share," Faily said. "We know everybody has to deal with their own issues, and we have to work with each other."

Iraqi military leaders have been criticized for their leadership, and Faily said the nation's prime minister has made "tremendous changes."

"These are operational issues, and we need to have a reflection of what is taking place on the ground," he said. "However, as a theme of our prime minister leading the charge and making sure that all parties work together for the unity and for the success of our fight against ISIS, each party on their own will not be able to do that. The United States on its own will not be able to do that. We have to all pull our weight together. It's a serious threat to the region. We need to work with each other."

But there are challenges when it comes to the Iraqi government and the Sunnis, he acknowledged, saying his nation's politics "need to improve to reflect the seriousness of the situation."

Still, "Iraq is at the forefront of the fight against ISIS, " said Faily, and the war is not a "pure domestic" one but instead an "international fight. We need support and we need you and you need us, and we need to help each other here."

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Iraqi armed forces are fighting every day, Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Lukman Faily told CNN Friday, striking back at controversial comments made by U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last Sunday that Iraq lacks the will to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).
Lukman Faily, iraq, isis, arms, sunnis, shiites
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2015-22-29
Friday, 29 May 2015 11:22 AM
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