FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter says that when Iraqi security forces carry their counteroffensive beyond the current battle for Tikrit, the U.S. will continue to insist that Iranian-backed Shiite militias not participate.
In remarks Monday at Fort Drum, New York, Carter said the coalition must ensure it is working only with forces under Iraqi government control as Iraqi ground troops seek to retake territory held by the Islamic State group.
The U.S. last week began to provide Iraqi forces with intelligence from U.S. aerial surveillance and to launch airstrikes in support of the battle for Tikrit. It did so on condition that the Iranian-backed Shiite militias not participate.
Carter said that condition will continue to apply as the fight shifts beyond Tikrit.