Obama: US to rethink how it’s using military assets in Iraq

Barack Obama
FILE - In a Thursday, May 14, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference after meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders and delegations at Camp David in Maryland. In a surprise announcement on Monday, May 18, 2015, coming nine months after police in riot gear dispelled racially charged protests, President Obama is banning the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to local departments and putting stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama says the U.S. wants to support the Iraqi government in its fight against the Islamic State group. And the president says that means the U.S. needs to think about whether it is deploying its military assets in Iraq effectively.

His comments Tuesday came after Defense Secretary Ash Carter over the weekend criticized Iraqi forces, saying their men fled the Islamic State advance on Ramadi without fighting back.

Since then, Iraq has announced the launch of a major military operation to drive the Islamic State from the western Anbar province. The Iraqi troops are out to retake the Sunni heartland where the extremist group captured the provincial capital of Ramadi.

The president spoke after meeting in the Oval Office with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

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