Iraq said that it would take Ramadi back from Islamic State forces. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, however, said that would be possible only with more support from international coalition partners.
The prime minister’s comment comes after U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter criticized the Iraqi military for showing “no will to fight.” ISIS’s victory in Ramadi is believed to be a major setback for the U.S.-led coalition.
Carter said that it was not true that the Iraqi army had been outnumbered. "What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter said, according to CNN. "They vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight."
This is not the first time Iraqi forces suffered defeat against ISIS. Iraqi forces fled while facing a smaller ISIS force in Ramadi. According to some observers, at least half of the entire Syrian territory is under the control of ISIS, which also controls one third of Iraq.
The Iraqi prime minister said that Carter had previously been quite supportive of his country’s fight against ISIS. Abadi said he was sure that the U.S. Defense secretary had received the wrong information.
Abadi said that the Iraqi forces did have the will to fight, but they suffered an ISIS onslaught from nowhere. The extremist group’s armored trucks had an effect “like a small nuclear bomb,” the BBC Quoted Abadi.
The Iraqi prime minister said that he was confident his forces would be able to recapture Ramadi “soon.”
Meanwhile, Masoud Barzani blamed the previous government for Iraq’s loss. The president of Iraqi Kurdistan told CNBC that former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government had developed a "sectarian army." He said that the Iraqi army had failed to take advantage of the support provided by the United States.
Barzani added that his Peshmerga troops would fare better than Iraqi government forces against ISIS.