U.S. Ambassador: Iraq in 'Precarious Situation' in Combating Two Thousand Extremists

Ambassador Beecroft on the violence in Anbar and what US troops accomplished.
3:00 | 02/03/14

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Transcript for U.S. Ambassador: Iraq in 'Precarious Situation' in Combating Two Thousand Extremists
-- I'm Martha Raddatz with on the radar for ABC news and Yahoo! News coming to you from the US embassy in Baghdad where we sat down with the US ambassador to talk about the situation here. Mr. investors when you look at -- -- where so many. American lives were lost. Fighting there trying to clear that area. How concerned -- do with what's happening. I'm very concerned about you know. American forces did a great job there and it came at great cost and -- and al-Qaeda presence there is. And other extremists working with them. Is is a very serious serious thing. We're -- very serious situation and in misstep. -- -- -- Could set off larger conflict in the country and that's hoping to stay away from the wrong person gets killed the wrong mosque gets attacked -- to exploded in you run the risk of sectarian conflict. How did this happen how did it spiral out of control. In the cities here in Baghdad. All over the cities that are getting blown up again. -- inflation remind us. -- a lot of guys that are unfortunately committed to a vet costs and they have access to weapons and arms and -- And they are able to use suicide bombers so these are foreign fighters that come into Iraq. Whether they're using bestseller using cars that are out there are causing explosions and that's what most the violence has been -- away. Approximately how many number of al-Qaeda are there -- -- you've got low hundreds maybe as many as 40500. Total extremists not just -- depressants -- -- sale. Almighty it's harder to know because they've basically been forced out of most parts for money to come back here to come back here but they don't have control and it's it's not -- A lot of people saying these days you've got around 2000. In the country hardcore 2002000. I assume that you read some of the stories about some of those soldiers who fought in Fallujah and they look at what's happening. Now. We really great hardy and and was it worth it and why didn't go in and -- what's -- I can understand people looking at Fallujah specific city. And feeling frustrated disappointed and and broken hearted. But I would ask them to look at the larger picture look at Iraq you see more automobiles on the street. You see more people on the street you see the stores open you see them filled with goods not just field but products from around the world. You -- foreign investment coming in there in cafes you see them again becoming the number two exporter of oil in OPEC. We gave them the US military in particular. The sacrifices the fighting that it did gave these people opportunity and there's a tremendous amount of goodwill out there on the street. Because of what think it. Not everyone but the vast majority of Iraqis would tell you right up front you guys gave us the chance to be what what we should be. A country that's playing a leading role in the region country that is prosperous and that is democratic I sometimes compared to -- -- learned to ride a bike. You've got somebody holding you at first but at some point they have to let go. You're gonna waffle you're gonna -- gonna fall -- can scrape your -- your -- your hands but -- get up and keep going and you learn how to do -- -- Herman's analysis and -- and things like. Well I don't know that there are many world leaders there do everything the United States wants -- to do I'm very impressed that prime minister -- on this particular issue. He is listening closely to the Sunni tribes and on for. And is working to support them -- and back them up in their efforts to sort of it'll -- these cities what more can the US do or does the US want to get the wrong. To a greater degree. Well I think we are involved and I think that that we need to do as much as we possibly can and that's what we're shooting for. What they tell us is that that they need and want is first and foremost they want to equipment military equipment weapons ammunition we're trying to. Meet those needs were trying to help them prioritize those needs. And then matched up. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And on top of that they're open to certain amounts of training thanks mr. -- Thank you. That's it for on the radar for ABC news and Yahoo! News I'm Martha Raddatz you can follow me on Twitter at Martha Raddatz. Have a great day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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