Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pentagon to increase U.S. troops in Iraq to help prepare assault on Mosul

W.J. Hennigan
The Pentagon will send 560 more troops to Iraq to help prepare for a long-awaited assault on Mosul, the Islamic State's self-declared capital in the country, possibly before President Obama leaves office.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the escalation – a boost of more than 10% in U.S. forces deployed in Iraq – during a visit Monday to Baghdad to meet with senior Iraq officials and U.S. commanders and troops.
The increase brings the number of authorized U.S. military personnel in Iraq to 4,647. But that tally doesn’t include special operations forces and temporary deployments that bring the total to more than 5,000.
Carter said many of the new troops will work from an air base near Qayyarah, which was recaptured Saturday by Iraqi forces and is about 40 miles south of Mosul.
Backed by U.S.-led coalition warplanes, Iraqi ground forces and their allies have recaptured several major cities in recent months, including Tikrit, Ramadi and Fallujah, and have sought to cut off roads leading to Mosul.

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