A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council expressed disgust Saturday with the latest suicide bombing by the Islamic State group in Iraq, calling it "abhorrent." At least 115 people died in Friday's attack, which coincided with the end of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month.
"The United States strongly condemns yesterday’s abhorrent ISIL [also known as ISIS] attack in Diyala Province which purposefully
The bomb was aboard a truck driving through a crowded marketplace in Khan Bani Saad, a town in Diyala province. The area is in the eastern part of Iraq, about 20 miles northeast of Baghdad, and has been referred to as a training ground for ISIS fighters.
— Rαzα Abidi (@Syed_Raza_Abidi) July 18, 2015
The targeted attack was timed with the end of Ramadan, Islam's holy month and a fasting period for Muslims. When the bomb struck, people in the town were celebrating the three-day Eid al-Fitr festival. The massive force of the blast brought down several buildings, resulting in the deaths of a reported 115 individuals, including children. Friday's attack may be one deadliest single attacks in Iraq in the last decade, the Hill reported.
115 people have been killed in an Islamic State group attack on a marketplace in Iraq's eastern Diyala province: pic.twitter.com/zpqipCDz9S
— Global's Newsroom (@globalsnewsroom) July 18, 2015
In Saturday's statement, Price said the United States will continue to support the Iraqi regime.
"The United States remains steadfast in its commitment to work with Prime Minister [Haider] Al-Abadi and our partners in Iraq and the international community to bring an end to ISIL’s depravity," Price said. "On behalf of the brave people of Diyala Province and all those Iraqis persecuted by ISIL, the United States will continue to support the government of Iraq and its security forces to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist organization."
Even with a renewed U.S.-Iraqi military strategy and new American weapons, the internal squabbling could thwart efforts to defeat the militants, Iraqi security forces have told International Business Times. "We could take back all of Anbar in six months if we had the weapons Baghdad promised," said Karim al-Nuri, the spokesman for the Shiite volunteer popular mobilization forces.
U.S. President Barack Obama said earlier this month the U.S. was speeding up its training of Iraqi forces. “This will not be quick -- this is a long-term campaign," Obama said at a press conference on July 6. "It will take time to root [ISIS militants] out, and doing so must be the job of local forces on the ground, with training and air support from our coalition.”