Daily VideoMay 19, 2015
Iraq asks for more U.S. help after loss of major city
Fighters from the Islamic State (ISIL) captured the city of Ramadi over the weekend, prompting the Iraqi government to ask for increased U.S. military airstrikes and help from fighters supported by Iraq’s neighbor, Iran.
The takeover of the strategically-located city marks the biggest defeat of Iraqi forces in nearly a year and a setback for U.S. and coalition efforts to unseat ISIL’s hold of several cities in the region.
U.S. officials acknowledged the setback but voiced confidence in the ability of Iraqi ground forces to reverse the takeover. The U.S. also increased airstrikes in the region surrounding Ramadi.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that the continued campaign to contain ISIL has limited the militants’ financial capacity and mobility.
“It is possible to have the kind of attack we have seen in Ramadi,” Kerry said. “But I’m absolutely confident, in the days ahead, that will be reversed.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on Shiite paramilitary militias, which are backed by Iran, to push back against ISIL. Yousif Al-Kilabi, a spokesman for the militias, said he hoped to provide a “backbone” for Iraq’s security forces. Iraq and Iran share a long border and complicated history, including a brutal war between 1980 and 1988.
Anbar province, where Ramadi is located, saw increased pressure from ISIL in the 16 months leading up to its fall. But the Iraqi government was slow to send security reinforcements, prompting frustration in Ramadi, according to retired Colonel Derek Harvey, a former special adviser to the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Warm up questions
- What is the Islamic State (ISIL)?
- Where is Iraq? What is the relationship between the U.S. and Iraq?
Critical thinking questions
- Previously, Iraqi government troops had been fighting the Islamic State. Why is it significant that the government called in paramilitary troops to help? Why do you think they did this?
- How do you think the U.S. feels about Iraq and Iran working together to defeat the Islamic State?
- How could these recent events affect the larger fight against the Islamic State?
- According to a former special military advisor, Iraq must “push ISIL out of all the territory that it holds without enabling it to move into another territory.” Do you think this is possible? How do you think Iraqi forces can accomplish this?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Hear from the secretary of education and discuss what can be done in your school to address student mental health Continue reading
Learn about the legacy of a man who served in the U.S. military and civilian government during crucial historic moments Continue reading
Find out why one contemporary musician pushed to make a movie out of lost concert footage from decades ago Continue reading
Daily News Lesson: How fires, dry conditions are drastically increasing air pollution across California
Hear from one local reporter about why air has never been as polluted in central California as it is right now Continue reading
Daily News Lesson: Five economic terms your students should know about the global supply chain problem
What does the phrase “American supply chain” mean and and how does it affect you and your family and the economy overall? Continue reading