May 24, 10:36 AM EDT

Iraqi lawmaker slams US Defense Secretary's charge that Iraq troops lacked 'will to fight'


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BAGHDAD (AP) -- An Iraqi lawmaker says U.S. military commanders are pointing fingers for their own failure to properly support the Iraqi military in the fight against the Islamic State group.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter stirred controversy Sunday morning by claiming in a television interview that Iraqi soldiers had superior numbers but lost the city of Ramadi to the Islamic State group because they "showed no will to fight."

Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the parliamentary defense and security committee, calls Carter's comments "unrealistic and baseless."

He said the U.S. should bear much of the blame for the fall of Ramadi for failure to provide "good equipment, weapons and aerial support" to the soldiers. Now he says the U.S. military is seeking to "throw the blame on somebody else."

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