Members of the Iraqi security forces and shiite fighters take part in an intensive security deployment on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province, north of Baghdad November 6, 2014. Picture taken November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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Iraq's most influential Shiite preacher said Friday that corruption in the armed forces had enabled ISIS to seize much of northern Iraq, criticism that will pressure the government to enact reforms in the face of an insurgency.Lacking a strong army, Iraq's government turned to Iranian-backed Shiite militias.Separately, the commander of the U.S. war against ISIS jihadists has said the key to winning the fight will be ending Baghdad's sectarian rule, not how many American troops are on the ground.Gen. Lloyd Austin, who runs the air war against ISIS as head of Central Command, said he would be prepared to recommend more U.S. troops if he concluded it was necessary, but stressed the Iraqi government's treatment of Sunnis would be the decisive factor in the outcome of the conflict.Austin said he was hopeful a new government under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would reach out to the disaffected Sunni community, and that the situation in Iraq would be "different" this time than it was for American forces occupying the country from 2003 to 2011 .U.S. forces are trying to apply lessons learned from the last mission in Iraq, Austin said.
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