Middle East

Qasem Soleimani: U.S. did nothing to save Ramadi

TEHRAN: The United States has done “nothing” to help Iraq’s army battle jihadis in Ramadi, according to a senior Iranian general involved in the fight against ISIS.

Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, hit out at Washington after Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said Iraqi forces “failed to fight” in Ramadi, which has fallen to ISIS.

“Mr. [Barack] Obama, what is the distance between Ramadi and Al-Asad base where U.S. planes are based?” Soleimani said in a speech late Sunday in the southern province of Kerman carried by state news agency IRNA.

“How can you be in that country under the pretext of protecting the Iraqis and do nothing? This is no more than being an accomplice in a plot,” Soleimani said.

According to Iranian media, Soleimani has been active in Iraq, particularly at the end of March when Iran-backed Shiite militias helped to recapture the city of Tikrit.

After Carter said the U.S.-led air campaign against the group was still working, Soleimani argued that the United States had “no will to fight ISIS.”

He said the jihadis, who control several oil zones in Iraq and Syria, “export their oil via countries belonging to the international coalition” led by Washington.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 27, 2015, on page 8.

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