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US condemns Iraqi army withdrawal without resistance

The United States has condemned the Iraqi army's withdrawal from cities such as Kirkuk and Mosul without resistance against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) which has taken control of them.

Describing the situation as "alarming" and saying there has been a "clear structural breakdown" in Iraq, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington and Iraq "share a commitment to addressing threats" from groups such as ISIS.

She pointed out that the recent developments in Iraq demonstrated the need for the strengthening of the Iraqi security forces' stressing that all options are on the table with the exception of sending military troops.

"What we've seen over the last couple of days is an indication that Iraq needs more help. Our team is working overtime on a range of options," she said. "That does not include, to be clear, boots on the ground.

"The president made clear that in the short term, there may be an immediate need for additional military assistance."

More than 500,000 people have fled the fighting in Mosul, the International Organisation for Migration said on Wednesday. The UN refugee agency said many left with little more than the clothes on their backs and were in urgent need of shelter, water, food and medical care.

Psaki noted that the United States has decided to provide additional $12.8 million to international organisations to provide assistance to displaced Iraqis, pointing out that the total aid provided by the United States to Iraq has amounted to more than $136 million during the fiscal year 2014.

The official refused to confirm reports claiming Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki requested US drones face ISIS saying "I cannot confirm such news".

According Psaki the US Embassy in Baghdad and other diplomatic missions are operating normally.

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Asia & AmericasIraqMiddle EastNewsUS
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