Iraq War

Feb. 4, 2016 House Democrat Leadership Press Conference

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi discussed the Flint, Mich. water crisis, the Iraq War and the 2016 presidential election at her weekly news conference on Feb. 4.

CIA Director: Paris Attack Likely Not Only Operation ‘In the Pipeline’

At the Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Security Forum Monday, Central Intelligence Agency Director John O. Brennan said he doesn’t think the Nov. 13 terrorist attack in Paris was the only Islamic State attack “in the pipeline.”

Carter Denies Combat Role After Iraq Rescue Mission

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter gave more details on the first combat death since the 2011 Iraq withdrawal. Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler was killed during a rescue mission of 70 hostages held by the Islamic State terror group.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, who will be welcomed home tomorrow by his family, by my wife and myself, who died after assisting our close Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga partners in the rescue of 70 hostages held by ISIL.

Earnest: Iraq 'Chaotic' But Not a 'Quagmire'

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday said Iraq is a “chaotic” place but would not use the word “quagmire” when asked by Fox News’ James Rosen, later pointing to Iraqi efforts to build a multi-sectarian government as a sign of “promise for Iraq’s future.”

When asked whether Sunni mistrust of U.S. intentions in the region contributed to issues in the fight against the Islamic State, Earnest said American intentions are “clear.”

DOD: 'It's Never Been More Difficult to Tell Friend From Foe' in Iraq

When Combined Forces Air Component Commander Lt. Gen. John W. Hesterman III was asked about an email circulating about saying pilots were frustrated at the approval process for engagement of terrorist forces in Iraq during a press briefing Friday, he said, "I expect guys to feel that way." Hesterman went on to clarify the approval process for engaging hostiles in Iraq for pilots and highlighted that the situation on the ground is the most complicated he has seen in his history with the Armed Forces. "We trust these superb men and women to prosecute the most complex aerial battle I've seen in about 32 years. And it's never been more difficult to identify friends from foe as it is right now in Iraq," Hesterman said. 

He used the word "fiction" to describe reports that the United States was observing large numbers of terrorists and "not killing them anywhere." 

Top Commander: Islamic State Isn't Making 'Major Advances' in Iraq
"I think every now and again, they make a tactical advance and then we play it like a strategic, you know, victory, and it's not." 

Combined Forces Air Component Commander Lt. Gen. John W. Hesterman III briefed the press Friday over the current state of play with the Islamic State terror group and Iraq. Hesterman said reports of IS making significant advances in the country are overplayed, and said, "The young men and women risking their lives each day... are superb, and they're very effective. And they're giving Iraq the time they need ... to execute all the lines of efforts that are gonna be necessary to finish this." 

Read the transcript below, via

Pelosi Rebuts Petraeus on Iraq
California Democrat doubts number of troops retired general trained.

In rebutting comments by former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus that the U.S. is “probably losing” in Iraq, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said Petraeus incorrectly asserted the number of Iraqi troops trained during his time overseeing the war in Iraq. Pelosi’s comments come more than three weeks since Islamic State fighters captured the city of Ramadi and as an international coalition met earlier this week in Paris to discuss how to counter the Islamic State terror group.