Iraqi Army Holds Off Sunni Insurgents

The White House sends 275 U.S. troops to protect the embassy in Baghdad.
11:59 | 06/17/14

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Transcript for Iraqi Army Holds Off Sunni Insurgents
This sectarian fighting reaching the capital -- of police officers today killing Sunni militants taken prisoner. And insurgent attack to take over areas near the city stopped last night. The attack thwarted and the militants pushed back but the question now is for how -- Right now the national hot -- Baghdad Iraq hello everyone I'm Michelle. The most intense fighting Iraq has seen in recent months. The group known as the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria or crisis now in the city of bock a -- That's about forty miles way from Baghdad and now as many as 275. US troops. Heading to the US embassy compound in the city to protect US citizens there and help train Iraqi forces. Possibilities are open for the embassy to be evacuated the BBC's -- Buchanan has more on the situation in Baghdad. And the clash between the Shia army and Sunni insurgents. -- though Baghdad is calm but residents nervously read news of fighting to the north. Security is tight overnight Sunni extremists helped by supporters of the former dictator Saddam Hussein seized control of parts of barracuda. That's barely an hour's drive away from the capital. A US aircraft carrier is maneuvering into position. -- Washington ways the military options to push back the insurgents. A contingent of American troops are being sent to Iraq to protect American assets. While the Iraqi Government is urging America to begin and strikes the music thing. We need to pick -- we need aerial attacks on sentences of these terrorists. On that convoy is on this white columns. We need also. Supports in terms of counterterrorism. Support intelligence reports. There are fears American airstrikes could inflame sectarian tensions driving Shiites and Sunnis -- -- These Sunni religious leaders in Northern Iraq didn't support the militants and a cooling for all Iraqis to unite against them. But the fault lines a deepening some argue the conflict is the beginning of a three way -- of the country into Kurdish Sunni and Shia regions. So no. We have to find how old twin -- to get that find a -- -- How to -- to get that but if we expect if we think that he -- political back like. Before -- I don't think so it's it's almost impossible. Certainly the spread of images like this wasn't help. The United Nations says -- as extremists may have committed war crimes. They allegedly executed hundreds of prisoners -- for the past few days. The region is already struggling to cope with millions of refugees. And now thousands of Iraqis are fleeing for safety. -- these people escaped from Mosul after the militants invaded. Many more transit camps like this -- are going to be needed. And Buchanan BBC news. We're joined now by ABC's Terry Moran in Northern Iraq from the city of -- -- thank you Terry for joining us the US troops that are heading into Iraq. What will their mission -- the president of forcing before he wasn't willing to that US troops. Welcome. We understand over the past this I didn't care option. Two assists. The Iraq to get the -- -- -- packaging that option what these. Troops are so -- you in split. Wit possible extraction. Thousands of the network and to look at that -- largest embassy in a little girl. Of getting them out of the -- Of making sure challenged. -- -- -- -- That opted to and sent -- partner -- would be ready or that should. Special operations forces who couldn't get ground here try to step in this -- Some Iraqi forces and -- need. Spotters -- Or urgent air. That decision is the way -- -- Terry talked about that evacuation of personnel at the US embassy give us an idea of the challenges in the logistics involved. Extra or Christian. -- -- that side. Payment -- -- the after the united stated withdrawn from Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. Couple years -- fall into the north Vietnamese and the American -- this -- -- slip by helicopter in Billy injured after. In the United States but at looked at. It Q score the Americans and that and the C it was done -- -- terms. So that I didn't that with the troops in Iraq that and there are -- fact. Thousand Americans in this in this -- know where they're here. The exit -- that person chopper -- to -- Air carrier or is it is that likely to look -- yet probably. On the ground for the most part from different. It. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- It is huge security -- there's no question this the design. Bill. With this possibility nightmares -- in mind what we get an idea this place. So there are contingency plans and let and it looks different and probably get -- it doesn't -- Terry gives us an idea about the strength the ice is right now in the days that since the government has started to push back a little bit the militants. Are they able to regain some control here. It -- Initially didn't think what has immersed is that I think it's just. Jihad extremist -- operate the kind of tip of the spear. And -- are in their battle hardened fighters and Syria perhaps. Estimates are anywhere in the -- 2000. Are still trapped after an early 2030000. -- -- -- -- in front. What happened at. That columns will move into the heart of Iraq -- just so it will pull. It around but the repellent in that that you little -- tribal. Leaders and young men and her Upton hit the currency question into the community that that the government in Baghdad that is -- -- the issue back. It's depressing but basically. Rendered -- second class -- this country so -- Out. I -- a civil Saddam who can -- that loyalists. And now a popular uprising against their prime and sure I'm -- lucky they -- -- well but not stop. -- Shiite led Iraqi Government has asked for air support. Is the US willing to provide that or is that looking for more of an international solution. Well I think it's important solution right now what you. -- -- President Obama in the -- that it. US air power to use it -- -- On behalf of the government in back. He -- stick to become the -- air force. It would be -- that -- -- admit billions of Iraqis coming to the rescue by the government that they believe a government. Carry on costly act that. Viciously sectarian works and so that the cult -- eyewitness government. It all in. -- of this country -- it didn't -- Iraq you have this permanent Albuquerque. It is highly. Millions of people that US taking. Shia side. What is the argument here at national dispute -- written on -- get you don't get. Any military power yet and -- until you have a government of national unity or -- moment. That you can demonstrate to our hospital. Partners where it -- wrong. You can actually get you get better -- the nation if not. There will be no America and our party. And -- the host historical divide Powell likely is the possibility now a rock breaking apart and becoming loosely connected federated states. It seems that it is increasingly. Likely -- that Iraq as we know it don't. I talked yesterday it would partner -- cook who -- -- the United States and her surgeon doctor probably not probably in. Current name and he didn't happen to thirty years and are -- -- -- course and indeed they. He didn't back to. To act out and she says that he is -- That's result of this catastrophe this crisis. -- that Iraq will split. It at three different are we just hurt in the BBC -- -- -- after the all political shackles back. The bank three separate independent nation or 838. Autonomous state and -- -- -- that -- the united Arab republic you know there emirates. No one quite a long long way from finding oh. Six that this. -- -- is -- and like the experiment with the United States in pop -- on Iraq into. -- An electoral -- -- that was designed into an estate to reinforce a very different. No one. -- one last question we mentioned about the logistics and the challenges with the US embassy but what else and Baghdad is considered. A very strategic target here that even if the nicest militants do not come into the city that they could take such as the airport. Are absolutely Baghdad international error -- The weapons that close to that. Do what he's got a Sunni Triangle -- if you remember that were so many Americans were killed. Trying to come to terms with this basically -- our nation that is so and we're. -- -- -- -- Used to rule Iraq should not -- it does not want to be rendered second class citizens that airport is vulnerable is vulnerable to insults. But it is also a little. 22 in order to back and even our worst. Shoulder today to ground ground to air missiles and both popular and it also can break down calmer to a military aircraft from our. This crisis jihadist extremist group has called -- informants. To amount of weapons out of a bases that the -- -- Iran. I work on one near her -- and no question that they are never well funded and they have incredible amount. And -- -- -- -- your tax dollars at work there at Baghdad airport is in danger not just from -- -- But from terrorist attack from shoulder fired missiles. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ABC news chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran thank you for joining us. -- in keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news happened starring this story for exclusive updates on the go. You've been watching international hot spot I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

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

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