About 500 US troops now in Iraq - KPTV - FOX 12

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)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

    Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:23:08 GMT
    The World Food Program says it provided food to a record 4.1 million people inside Syria last month.More >
    Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant...More >
  • Group says world is losing battle against Ebola

    Group says world is losing battle against Ebola

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:12:17 GMT
    The U.N. is warning that food prices are rising in countries hit by Ebola and that it'll get worse because many farmers won't be able to access fields during the upcoming harvests of rice and corn.More >
    The international group Doctors Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is losing the battle against Ebola and lamented that treatment centers in West Africa have been "reduced to places where people go to die alone."More >
  • Report accuses Islamic State group of war crimes

    Report accuses Islamic State group of war crimes

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:24:18 GMT
    Amnesty International has accused the militant Islamic State group of carrying out a systematic campaign of mass killings, abductions and ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq that could amount to war crimes.More >
    An international rights group accused the extremist Islamic State group on Tuesday of systematic "ethnic cleansing" in northern Iraq targeting indigenous religious minorities, as well as conducting mass killings of men and...More >

(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.

Powered by WorldNow
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.