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US teams complete assessment of Iraqi forces: Pentagon

Published on Jul 15, 2014 7:03 AM
Iraqi security forces celebrating after clashes with followers of Shi'ite cleric Mahmoud al-Sarkhi in the holy city of Karbala, south-west of Baghdad on July 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US military teams have completed an assessment of Iraqi security forces, the Pentagon said on Monday, amid reports the American officers came away with bleak conclusions.

The teams were deployed to Baghdad this month after Sunni militants swiftly advanced across the country in a string of disastrous battlefield defeats for Shi'ite-led government forces.

"The assessments from the teams in Iraq have reached the Pentagon," spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

According to The New York Times, the assessment warned that any American troops serving as advisers would face safety risks given infiltration of the Iraqi army by Sunni extremists and Iran-backed Shi'ite troops or militia.

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