About 500 US troops now in Iraq - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

About 500 US troops now in Iraq

Posted: Updated:
ISIS terrorists and Iraqi troops are battling for Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad. (Source: CNN) ISIS terrorists and Iraqi troops are battling for Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad. (Source: CNN)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Hamas chief backs International Criminal Court bid

    Hamas chief backs International Criminal Court bid

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:35 AM EDT2014-08-23 05:35:04 GMT
    A senior Hamas leader says the group signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations.More >>
    A senior Hamas leader says the group signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations.More >>
  • Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory'

    Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory'

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:25 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:25:01 GMT
    Interpol said Friday it has launched a multinational investigation into what Thailand has dubbed the "Baby Factory" case: a 24-year-old Japanese businessman who has 16 surrogate babies and an alleged desire to...More >>
    Interpol said it has launched a multinational investigation into what Thailand has dubbed the "Baby Factory" case: a 24-year-old Japanese businessman who has 16 surrogate babies and an alleged desire to father hundreds more.More >>
  • Costa Rica to investigate US anti-Cuba program

    Costa Rica to investigate US anti-Cuba program

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:54 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:54:58 GMT
    Costa Rica's director of intelligence and security says his government will investigate undercover U.S. programs based in the Central American country that were designed to destabilize the government in Cuba.More >>
    The Costa Rican government will investigate undercover U.S. programs operated from the Central American country and using its citizens in a ploy to destabilize the government in Cuba, the director of intelligence and...More >>

(CNN) - As Iraq spirals into sectarian warfare many are answering the call of the country's prime minister and Shiite religious leaders to turn out for the military.

But will Iraq's army stand up to the relentless advance by ISIS insurgents and their Sunni allies?

That's the question U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq are trying to answer.

In Baghdad nearly 500 U.S. troops are now on the ground, including 180 military advisers of the 300 who President Barack Obama authorized plus security teams and intelligence analysts already there.

Priority one is to determine if Iraqi troops can hold the capital or if it's in danger of falling to the ISIS militants.

The current assessment: The Shia-dominated Iraqi military will keep control. The Sunni backed-ISIS won't risk an all-out urban war.

But there is deep worry about the strength of Iraqi forces across the country.

"What we really need to see is the army get back on its feet. We have folks there trying to help these elite units do that, and start to retake territory. But the situation on the ground is still very serious," said State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf.

Iraqi's Haditha dam, located 170 miles northwest of Baghdad, may be the most critical target to protect.

ISIS and Iraqi units are battling for control of the largest hydroelectric plant in western Iraq. The local police chief said government forces are so far holding onto control. But U.S. intelligence is watching closely. If ISIS seizes the dam then water and power for millions of Iraqis is in jeopardy.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki now say he's happy to have Syrian airstrikes against ISIS.

"There was no coordination involved, but we welcome this action," he said.

The U.S. does not welcome what it says were Syrian airstrikes that reached inside Iraq.

The U.S. is flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq to collect intelligence and to keep an eye for both Syrian warplanes and Iranian drones. And keeping an eye on threats against U.S. advisors.

A video message purportedly from a Sunni cleric calls for attacks against U.S. embassies worldwide if the U.S. conducts airstrikes in Iraq.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow