Iraq PM: Foreign troops not needed on the ground to fight IS

BAGHDAD: Iraq's prime minister says his country's forces are capable of defeating the Islamic State group without the help of foreign combat forces.

Haider al-Abadi's statement late Tuesday came hours after US Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress that a new special operations force will be deployed to Iraq to step up fighting against IS. The militant group controls a wide swath of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Al-Abadi said his country needs training, weapons and advice from the International community and not "foreign forces fighting on Iraqi soil." He added that such a move needs his government's approval and full coordination.

Carter told the House Armed Services Committee that over time the special operations force will be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture IS leaders.