The United States on Tuesday condemned the seizure of the Iraqi city of Mosul by Sunni Islamist insurgents and said it supported "a strong, coordinated response to push back against this aggression," offering assistance to the government of Iraq.
"The United States is deeply concerned about the events that have transpired in Mosul over the last 48 hours where elements of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL) have taken over significant parts of the city. The situation remains extremely serious," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Psaki added that senior U.S. officials in both Washington and Baghdad were tracking events closely in coordination with Iraqi's Shi'ite-led government as well as Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum including the Kurds.
She said U.S. officials "support a strong, coordinated response to push back against this aggression." She said: "The United States will provide all appropriate assistance to the Government of Iraq under the Strategic Framework Agreement (between the two nations) to help ensure that these efforts succeed."
The capture of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, by the forces of an offshoot of al Qaeda and its allies followed four days of fighting in the northern city and attacks in other towns.
U.S. troops served in Iraq starting in a March 2003 invasion until the last ones left in December 2011.
"ISIL continues to gain strength from the situation in Syria, from which it transfers recruits, sophisticated munitions, and resources to the fight in Iraq," Psaki added.
"It should be clear that ISIL is not only a threat to the stability of Iraq, but a threat to the entire region. This growing threat exemplifies the need for Iraqis from all communities to work together to confront this common enemy and isolate these militant groups from the broader population," Psaki said.
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