White House, Iraqi Government Trade Barbs Over Obama Admin’s Help Against Islamic State

Josh Earnest / AP

The White House and the Iraqi government disagree about both the extent and the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s efforts to assist in the fight against the Islamic State.

In Tuesday’s daily briefing, Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, detailed the administration’s efforts to assist Iraqi security forces.

"The training, equipping and offering advice and assistance to Iraqi security forces is merely one element of the strategy, but this is one area where we can talk with some specificity about how Iraqi security forces have benefited from the support of our coalition military partners and have performed well on the battle field," Earnest said.

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However, CNN reported Tuesday that Iraqi officials claim that they have not received adequate support.

"Iraqi military officials insist they have the men and the tools they need to attack Ramadi, but complain bitterly at what they say is a lack of coalition air support," CNN reported.

CNN further reported that American coalition forces are not supplying the Iraqis with the type of support that they have requested.

"They are supposed to give us some support now from warplanes … we are in control of the ground, all we need is air support," said Major General Khalil Abadi.

The White House also said Tuesday that Iraqi security forces need to focus more on recruiting.

"What we also know that we need, in order to maximize that opportunity [to ramp up coalition forces] is for the Iraqi government to do a better job in sending recruits to that program," Earnest said in Tuesday’s daily briefing.