A senior Iranian commander has said the United States is responsible for the fall of Ramadi after ISIS seized the city in an offensive last week.
General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said the United States did not do anything to prevent Ramadi’s fall despite having bases in Iraq.
“Mr. Obama, how many kilometers are there between Ramadi and your military bases in Iraq?... How is it possible that you deploy your soldiers in Iraq but do nothing to prevent massacres?,” Iranian daily Javan quoted Soleimani as saying.
Soleimani’s comments come after US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter accused the Iraqi army on Sunday of lacking “the will” to fight to stop ISIS’ advance.
"They vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they withdrew from the site," said Carter.
“I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIS and defend themselves.”
Iraqi government forces, backed by Shiite militias as well as locally-recruited and trained Sunni tribal fighters, launched a counter-attack and regained ground against the militants on Saturday.
Last week, ISIS militants also seized the Syrian city of Palmyra, a world heritage site dating back to the Roman Empire.