Carter calls US allies to increase fight against DAESH

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter calls US allies to step up their fights against DAESH in Iraq and Syria

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter testifies during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee December 9, 2015.

The United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the US allies and the international community need to raise their struggles to defeat DAESH terror organisation in Iraq and Syria.

"The international community, including our allies and partners, has to step up before another attack like Paris," he stated referring to the deadly Paris attacks that left 130 people dead and 350 others wounded.

Carter added that the White House is ready to help the Iraqi military with US equipment and personnel in the fight against DAESH.

"The United States is prepared to assist the Iraqi army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job, including attack helicopters and accompanying advisers,” he said.

However, the White House announced on Wednesday that the US President Barack Obama is unsure on the use of attack helicopters during operations against DAESH in Iraq.

The US Apache helicopters. (Photo: Reuters)

During his speech, Carter underlined his disappointment with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states for not focusing on DAESH targets as effective as the Yemen war.

“Saudi Arabia and the [Persian] Gulf states joined the air portion of the campaign in the early days, but have since been pre-occupied by the conflict in Yemen both in the air and on the ground,” he said.

Carter mentioned that he had asked about 40 countries to contribute to the international fights with special operations forces, combat and reconnaissance aircraft.

The Pentagon chief Carter called Turkey to perform further controls on its Syria border against DAESH.

On this issue, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin specified on Wednesday that Turkey opened its Incirlik Base to hit DAESH terrorists and has caught more than 2,700 suspects and deported all of them, most of whom came from Europe to join DAESH in Syria.

“The question here is what measures do the source countries take to stop foreign terrorist fighters from going to Syria, Iraq and other regions," Ibrahim Kalin said. 

"How many people have they detained, barred or about how many people have they shared information?” he asked.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın. (Photo: AA)

Meanwhile, Carter also criticised Russia for targeting opposition forces rather than DAESH.

"Russia, which has publicly committed to defeating ISIL [DAESH], has instead largely attacked opposition forces. It's time for Russia to focus on the right side of this fight," he told the Senate Committee.

Brett McGurk, US Special Envoy for Global Coalition to Counter DAESH, indicated that only 30 percent of Russian air strikes target DAESH.

He said in a briefing in Baghdad that the US campaign in Syria was very effective, and it had the data to back that up. “The Russian air campaign has different objectives quite frankly," McGurk added.

In September, Russia had announced that its air strikes in Syria aimed to combat DAESH in support of its close ally, Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad.

Russian air attacks killed 1,331 people, including at least 403 civilians from September 30 to November 20 in 2015, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. Russian attacks have also been forcing at least 120,000 Syrians to leave their homes.

At present, Russian air strikes are targeting Turkmens who are opponents of Assad in the northwest of Syria, which is a non-DAESH area.

TRTWorld and agencies