The death toll from a suicide car explosion at a busy market northeast of Baghdad climbed to over 100 people, including children, Reuters cited police and medical sources as saying. Islamic State took responsibility for the deadly terror act.
President Barack Obama said that, despite recent setbacks, the current US strategy would defeat Islamic State – but it won't happen fast. He blamed Congress for hindering the ongoing fight against ISIS by not approving a new terrorism sanctions czar.
The US hopes a new base in Anbar province will spur Iraq’s Sunnis to volunteer for training, the White House said. President Obama ordered 450 more troops to the Iraq facility in hopes of bolstering resistance to Islamic State forces in Ramadi.
Iraq has admitted that ISIS jihadists captured huge caches of US-made weapons, including thousands of Humvees seized from Iraqi forces retreating from Mosul last year. The spoils of war have since then been used by ISIS to gain ground in Iraq and Syria.
A day after the US Defense Secretary questioned the Iraqi army’s “will to fight” Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists, Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi PM Haider Abadi to reassure him of continued American support in the fight against IS.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has lashed out at the Iraqi army, which last week abandoned the major central city of Ramadi, as well as millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, to the Islamic State, despite reportedly outnumbering the jihadists 10-to-1.