The chairman of US’ Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey said that the combined forces of the Iraqi army and the popular mobilization forces are likely to prevail against militants of the Takfiri group, ISIL in the unfolding battle for Tikrit.
As he was on an aircraft on his way to Iraq, Dempsey told reporters the numbers of the forces engaged in the campaign against ISIL in Tikrit “are overwhelming.”
Dempsey said the battle for Tikrit, so far, has not been what the US military would consider “a sophisticated military maneuver.”
He described a hodge-podge of Iraqi armored Humvees, trucks, and other vehicles surging toward Tikrit as something similar to rush hour traffic in Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, Dempsey warned that the military campaign should be followed by “a show of humanitarian and other support for mostly Sunni Tikrit” by Baghdad.
“The important thing about this operation in Tikrit is less about how the military aspect of it goes and more about what follows,” Dempsey said.
In this context, Demsey said that the key task for Iraq’s leaders is to balance what he called “the Iranian role in empowering Shiite militias with Iraq’s partnership with the U.S. and other coalition members.”
“The only one that can balance that is the prime minister of Iraq,” America’s top general said.
“So I want to get his views on how he is seeking to balance that concern.”
The Iraqi army and the popular mobilization forces, which consist of both Shiite fighters and Sunni tribes, have been engaged in a military campaign in Salahuddin province.