About 500 US troops now in Iraq - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

About 500 US troops now in Iraq

ISIS terrorists and Iraqi troops are battling for Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad. (Source: CNN) ISIS terrorists and Iraqi troops are battling for Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad. (Source: CNN)
  • Government shutdown endNational politicsMore>>

  • The Latest: Romney promises hard campaign in Senate primary

    The Latest: Romney promises hard campaign in Senate primary

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:54 PM EDT2018-04-22 01:54:48 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:14 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:14:56 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File). FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2018, file photo, shows former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sitting behind the wheel of a tractor during a tour of Gibson's Green Acres Dairy in Ogden, Utah. Romney is gearing up fo...(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File). FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2018, file photo, shows former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sitting behind the wheel of a tractor during a tour of Gibson's Green Acres Dairy in Ogden, Utah. Romney is gearing up fo...
    Mitt Romney has been forced into a Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah as he looks to restart his political career by replacing long-serving Sen. Orrin Hatch.More >>
    Mitt Romney has been forced into a Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah as he looks to restart his political career by replacing long-serving Sen. Orrin Hatch.More >>
  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:06:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
  • Road to N. Korea's denuclearization is littered with failure

    Road to N. Korea's denuclearization is littered with failure

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:44 PM EDT2018-04-22 01:44:28 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:06:05 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool, File). FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2018 file photo, Kim Yo Jong, left, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in P...(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool, File). FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2018 file photo, Kim Yo Jong, left, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in P...
    A look at previous nuclear negotiations with North Korea and how the currently planned talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington took shape.More >>
    A look at previous nuclear negotiations with North Korea and how the currently planned talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington took shape.More >>

(CNN) - As Iraq spirals into sectarian warfare many are answering the call of the country's prime minister and Shiite religious leaders to turn out for the military.

But will Iraq's army stand up to the relentless advance by ISIS insurgents and their Sunni allies?

That's the question U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq are trying to answer.

In Baghdad nearly 500 U.S. troops are now on the ground, including 180 military advisers of the 300 who President Barack Obama authorized plus security teams and intelligence analysts already there.

Priority one is to determine if Iraqi troops can hold the capital or if it's in danger of falling to the ISIS militants.

The current assessment: The Shia-dominated Iraqi military will keep control. The Sunni backed-ISIS won't risk an all-out urban war.

But there is deep worry about the strength of Iraqi forces across the country.

"What we really need to see is the army get back on its feet. We have folks there trying to help these elite units do that, and start to retake territory. But the situation on the ground is still very serious," said State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf.

Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad, may be the most critical target to protect.

ISIS and Iraqi units are battling for control of the largest hydroelectric plant in western Iraq. The local police chief said government forces are so far holding onto control. But U.S. intelligence is watching closely. If ISIS seizes the dam then water and power for millions of Iraqis is in jeopardy.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki now say he's happy to have Syrian airstrikes against ISIS.

"There was no coordination involved, but we welcome this action," he said.

The U.S. does not welcome what it says were Syrian airstrikes that reached inside Iraq.

The U.S. is flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq to collect intelligence and to keep an eye for both Syrian warplanes and Iranian drones. And keeping an eye on threats against U.S. advisors.

A video message purportedly from a Sunni cleric calls for attacks against U.S. embassies worldwide if the U.S. conducts airstrikes in Iraq.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly