World Bulletin/News Desk
The Pentagon said Wednesday that Iraqi security forces have strengthened themselves around Baghdad and the city remains secure from the threat posed by ISIL.
The militants are miles from the Iraqi capital but poised to capture al-Anbar province.
“We do not assess that Baghdad is under an imminent threat right now,” press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said, despite reports that the town is in the sights of the militant group.
Kirby, however, acknowledged that ISIL will eventually threaten Baghdad and U.S. airstrikes have been to the south and southwest of the town to try to destroy some of ISIL positions.
He also noted that Baghdad International Airport is still open and not under imminent ISIL threat.
When asked why the U.S. has intensified airstrikes near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, he said because there are more ISIL targets there. The militant group has been flowing fighters to Kobani and have become an easy target for the airstrikes, he said.
“We believe that we have killed several hundred ISIL fighters, again, in and around Kobani,” he said but acknowledged that if Kobani falls to ISIL, it would be a set back for the coalition efforts.
The weather in central Iraq has not been condusive to air operations and as a result, resources and assets have been moved, he said.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2014, 10:29