About 500 US troops now in Iraq - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

About 500 US troops now in Iraq

Posted: Updated:
ISIS terrorists and Iraqi troops are battling for Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad. (Source: CNN) ISIS terrorists and Iraqi troops are battling for Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - As Iraq spirals into sectarian warfare many are answering the call of the country's prime minister and Shiite religious leaders to turn out for the military.

But will Iraq's army stand up to the relentless advance by ISIS insurgents and their Sunni allies?

That's the question U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq are trying to answer.

In Baghdad nearly 500 U.S. troops are now on the ground, including 180 military advisers of the 300 who President Barack Obama authorized plus security teams and intelligence analysts already there.

Priority one is to determine if Iraqi troops can hold the capital or if it's in danger of falling to the ISIS militants.

The current assessment: The Shia-dominated Iraqi military will keep control. The Sunni backed-ISIS won't risk an all-out urban war.

But there is deep worry about the strength of Iraqi forces across the country.

"What we really need to see is the army get back on its feet. We have folks there trying to help these elite units do that, and start to retake territory. But the situation on the ground is still very serious," said State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf.

Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad, may be the most critical target to protect.

ISIS and Iraqi units are battling for control of the largest hydroelectric plant in western Iraq. The local police chief said government forces are so far holding onto control. But U.S. intelligence is watching closely. If ISIS seizes the dam then water and power for millions of Iraqis is in jeopardy.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki now say he's happy to have Syrian airstrikes against ISIS.

"There was no coordination involved, but we welcome this action," he said.

The U.S. does not welcome what it says were Syrian airstrikes that reached inside Iraq.

The U.S. is flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq to collect intelligence and to keep an eye for both Syrian warplanes and Iranian drones. And keeping an eye on threats against U.S. advisors.

A video message purportedly from a Sunni cleric calls for attacks against U.S. embassies worldwide if the U.S. conducts airstrikes in Iraq.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

  • Also on KFVS12.comMore>>

  • US, Shia militias face common enemy

    US, Shia militias face common enemy

    Friday, June 27 2014 2:52 AM EDT2014-06-27 06:52:12 GMT
    Former foes America and Shiite militias are now on the same side against advancing Sunni ISIS militants in Iraq.
    Former foes America and Shiite militias are now on the same side against advancing Sunni ISIS militants in Iraq.
  • Iraq CrisisMore>>

  • UN diplomats examine Islamic State alleged crimes

    UN diplomats examine Islamic State alleged crimes

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:40 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:40:48 GMT
    The U.N.'s top human rights body is being asked to investigate the alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq.
    Iraq's government asked the U.N.'s top human rights body Monday to investigate alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and northern and western...
  • UN says Iraq deaths drop to 1,420 in August

    UN says Iraq deaths drop to 1,420 in August

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:30 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:30:32 GMT
    The United Nations says the number of Iraqis reported killed in violence has ebbed slightly in August compared to the previous month, with some 1,420 killed.
    The United Nations says the number of Iraqis reported killed in violence has ebbed slightly in August compared to the previous month, with some 1,420 killed.
  • Lawmakers want to debate way forward against ISIS

    Lawmakers want to debate way forward against ISIS

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:06 AM EDT2014-09-01 09:06:40 GMT

    U.S. airstrikes helped break an ISIS siege in Iraq this weekend, but lawmakers are calling for a well-defined policy for dealing with ISIS in Syria.

    U.S. airstrikes helped break an ISIS siege in Iraq this weekend, but lawmakers are calling for a well-defined policy for dealing with ISIS in Syria.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.