Iraqi Security forces inspect the scene after a bomb explosion in Baghdad's northern neighborhood of Shaab, Iraq, May 17, 2016. AP Photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Colonel Steve Warren, the spokesperson for the coalition forces in Iraq called on Baghdad on Wednesday to keep its military forces deployed on the front-lines against Islamic State (ISIS) rather than redeploy them to protect Baghdad.
"Our advice to the Iraqi government is to keep the pressure up. The way to win is to expel ISIL completely from Iraq, to wipe them out," said Col. Warren.
"The Iraqis want to re-position some forces," to the Iraqi capital, Warren explained. "We said 'Hey, we think you should keep the forces out in the field.' And that's what they ended up doing."
"It’s an Iraqi government decision as to when they begin or if they begin to pull forces back. Our advice to the Iraqi government is to keep the pressure up. We're going to support them in whatever decision they make, but our advice to them is to keep their foot on the gas, continue," he said.
His remarks follow a series of deadly suicide bombings in the capital Baghdad which have killed at least 200 civilians, making May the deadliest month so far this year.
"These attacks appear to be a shift in ISIL's tactics," Col. Warren said. "Over the last six months, our enemy has suffered a string of defeats because the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] is proving increasingly effective. ISIL wants to throw punches that land. To do this, they appear to have chosen to revert to some of their terrorist roots."
The colonel went on to explain that the US has had prior experience with these "terrorist roots" during the Iraq War.
"What they've resorted to are these kind of old, you know, mid-2000s terrorist tactics that are really part of their AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] roots. That's how they got their start is through terror tactics," Warren said.
He also maintained that no additional US troops would be needed to protect the US embassy in Baghdad.
"We don't believe we need any additional security," Warren told Fox News, "We believe that the security that we have in place is adequate to the threat."