The top three defense officials leading the U.S. campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic State testified they were largely left in the dark about the Iranian-backed Iraq plan to take back a key city from the terror group. The lack of coordination between the U.S. and Iraq, to take back the city of Tikrit, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s hometown and the birthplace of his Sunni dominated government, despite a $1.5 billion U.S.-led air campaign, was first reported by The Daily Beast Monday.
Army Gen. Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services committee said he was not surprised because he knew about the potential operation “several days” beforehand, not from the Iraqi government but U.S. drones. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testified Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services committee that the Iraqi government did not consult the U.S. military before launching its campaign over the weekend. At the same committee Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that how Iraq conducts the campaign could affect U.S. and coalition support.