Iraq asking U.S. for help with resurgent al-Qaida - KPTV - FOX 12

Iraq asking U.S. for help with resurgent al-Qaida

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Iraq is asking for attack helicopters to battle terrorists. (Source: FOX) Iraq is asking for attack helicopters to battle terrorists. (Source: FOX)

WASHINGTON, DC (FOX ) - A day after seven car bombs exploded in mostly Shiite neighborhoods across Iraq, killing 49 people, another two bombs ripped through a vegetable market and targeted Iraqi forces on a security patrol south of Baghdad.

President Obama now admits that al-Qaida has returned to Iraq and elsewhere, despite repeatedly saying the terror group was on the run.

"While we've put al-Qaida's core leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved as al-Qaida affiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world. In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks," Obama said.

When the U.S. pulled its last troops out of Iraq at the end of 2011, the Iraqi leadership snubbed U.S. commanders and didn't show up for the departure ceremony at the Baghdad airport.

Just two years later - and after cozying up to Iran's leaders - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is requesting U.S. help.

He presented the White House with a wish list of American weapons: hellfire missiles, drones and attack helicopters.

In a recent editorial, Maliki writes that the U.S. has a moral imperative to help Iraq combat al-Qaida fighters leaving Syria.

"Time and again, I have cautioned against the spillover of terrorism from that conflict to our own country, and now it has happened. With logistical support from their bases in Syria, al-Qaida and other extremist forces have re-established their presence in western Iraq. The spillover from Syria is the most important factor in the upsurge of violence in Iraq over the past year."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was asked about Maliki's request for weapons while leaving a synagogue outside Washington. "Well, we are working with Prime Minister Maliki's government and we continue to work to help him and assist, so that's been ongoing," Hagel said.

Secretary of State John Kerry says in the end that the fight is Iraq's to win. "We're not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight, but we're going to help them in their fight," he said.

The Pentagon has offered to train Iraqi forces in neighboring Jordan.

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