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U.S. to Equip More Tribal Fighters in Iraq

Ambassador Brett McGurk tells Chuck Todd that the U.S. will have more Iraqis to train in the near future to help in the fight against ISIS.

Ambassador to Iraq Brett McGurk, one of President Obama’s key advisers on ISIS, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” more tribal fighters will be joining the fight against ISIS, and they will be “advised and assisted” by U.S. troops.

“I just got off the phone with some of our commanders in the field,” McGurk said. “I think pretty soon some new tribal fighters are coming in to get equipped and get into the fight.”

Last week President Obama announced 450 additional U.S. troops are deploying to train the Iraqi army and Sunni fighters in better tactics to use against ISIS. McGurk said this role is the most successful tool the U.S. has against the sprawling terror group.

“We've looked at what really works,” McGurk said. “And we found that every time we have advised and assisted Iraqi forces, tribal fighters, the Kurds, they've been very effective against ISIS.”

McGurk, who also advised President George W. Bush on Iraq, said America’s current enemy in Iraq is a tougher opponent than al-Qaeda was under the Bush Administration. “It [ISIS] is better in every respect than its predecessor, al-Qaeda in Iraq,” McGurk said. “It’s better manned, it’s better equipped, they’re better fighters.”

According to McGurk, the administration will focused on the Anbar province — whose capital, Ramadi, was taken over by ISIS in May — for the next stage of fighting.