CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have overrun several cities north of Baghdad and are threatening to march on that city. President Obama says U.S. troops will not go into combat in Iraq but other options are being looked at to support Iraq security forces.
The head of the Mississippi National Guard, who led troops in Iraq 10 years ago, is hopeful Iraqi security forces will be able to push back the insurgents. Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins was at Camp Shelby Friday to help celebrate the Army's 239th birthday.
"The one thing you can't do is give up hope that perhaps the Iraqi security forces will be able to turn it around," said Collins. "They've been trained very well by the coalition forces over the years and mainly, it just takes the will to be able to stand up and hopefully, they'll develop that," he said.
Collins commanded Mississippi's 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team in Iraq from 2004-2006.
27 soldiers from that unit were killed in action.