Α)New top US general looks to capitalize on Iraq successes
BAGHDAD — In a bid to capitalize on some recent battle successes in Iraq, Baghdad leaders told a top U.S. general Tuesday that they will move to improve coordination between the country's disparate and sometimes warring factions battling Islamic State militants.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi agreed to begin talks Wednesday with U.S. leaders on selecting a single commander who can speak for all the groups when trying to coordinate missions with the U.S.-led coalition.
The move, he said, will allow the Iraqi security forces, the Kurdish government forces known as the Peshmerga, the Sunni tribes and the popular mobilization troops to work better together.
"We need somebody who is empowered by you to make decisions and work with us, so we can provide support across all Iraqi forces," Dunford said he told them, adding that a fundamental principle of commanding and controlling forces is "wherever two or more are gathered, one must be in charge."
Dunford traveled to Iraq Tuesday in the last segment of a five-day trip, which also included stops in Israel and Jordan. It was his first trip to the war zone since taking the chairman's job on Oct. 1, and he spent time meeting with military commanders and leaders of the Kurdish government in northern Iraq in the morning, then went to Baghdad