US will provide all assistance to Iraq: White House

The US has said that it will provide all appropriate assistance to the government of Iraq to assist it in their common fight against the Islamist militants who have overrun its two major cities, Mosul and Tikrit.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 12, 2014, 10:19 AM IST

Washington: The US has said that it will provide all appropriate assistance to the government of Iraq to assist it in their common fight against the Islamist militants who have overrun its two major cities, Mosul and Tikrit.

"The situation in Iraq is grave and we`re actively working with Iraqi leaders in support of their efforts to implement an effective and coordinated response to address this crisis," said White House deputy Press Secretary, Josh Earnest.

US Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Turkish Prime Minister regarding the security situation around Mosul, where elements of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have taken over significant portions of the city, seized the Turkish consulate, and taken Turkish personnel - including the Consul General and family members - hostage.

"The Vice President underscored the United States condemns the actions taken by ISIL, calls for the safe and immediate return of the Turkish personnel and family members, and supports efforts by Iraqi national and Kurdish security forces to work together to combat the ISIL threat," the White House said.

Biden told the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that the US is prepared to support Turkey`s efforts to bring about the safe return of its citizens and will stay in close touch with the Turkish and Iraqi governments regarding a resolution to the security situation.

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the US has been fast to provide necessary support for the people and government of Iraq under their Strategic Framework Agreement.

"We are working together to roll back aggression and counter the threat that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant poses to the people of the region," Rice said.

Earnest said the US will continue to provide all appropriate assistance to the government of Iraq, to assist it in their common fight against the threat that militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses to Iraq in the region.

"In addition to the violence in Mosul, we`ve seen the reports and are closely following the ongoing attacks and violence in the Baiji and Tikrit areas, and other parts of northern Iraq," he said.

"We condemn ISIL`s despicable attack on the Turkish consulate in Mosul. We call for the immediate release of Turkey`s kidnapped diplomatic and security personnel. We`re in touch with the governments of Turkey and Iraq, and stand ready to provide any appropriate assistance," the White House spokesperson said.

Earnest said the situation in Iraq has deteriorated in last 24 hours.

"It`s something we`re concerned about. We`ve been in touch with the government of Iraq about what we can do to support them as they try to address this security threat," he said.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the US is providing appropriate assistance to Iraq to meet the challenge.

"We will work with Congress to support the new Counter- terrorism Partnerships Fund, which will provide flexibility and resources to help Iraq respond to emerging needs as the terrorist threat from ISIL continues to evolve," he said.

"Under the Strategic Framework Agreement, we will also continue to provide, and as required increase, assistance to the Government of Iraq to help build Iraq?s capacity to effectively and sustainably stop ISIL`s efforts to wreak havoc in Iraq and the region," Carney said.

He said the US strongly condemns the attacks in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

"We offer our condolences to the families of those killed and underscore our commitment to assist the Iraqi people as they confront the threat that ISIL poses to Iraq and the region," Carney said.

ISIL`s recent actions in Mosul and surrounding areas demonstrate once again that these extremists seek nothing but death and destruction, he said, adding that the US will stand with Iraqi leaders across the political spectrum as they forge the national unity necessary to succeed in the fight against ISIL.