Pentagon would like to boost U.S. military presence in Iraq to increase fight against IS 12803162

Defence & Security News - United States
 
Pentagon would like to boost U.S. military presence in Iraq to increase fight against IS.
The Pentagon will submit proposals to President Barack Obama for strengthening military support to Iraqi forces in the near future, a top US military official said Friday, March 25, 2016. Pentagon officials have previously mentioned their desire to accelerate the training of Iraqi troops, or to provide logistical support for the Mosul offensive.
     
The Pentagon will submit proposals to President Barack Obama for strengthening military support to Iraqi forces in the near future, a top US military official said Friday, March 25, 2016. Pentagon officials have previously mentioned their desire to accelerate the training of Iraqi troops, or to provide logistical support for the Mosul offensive. U.S. Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, fire M249 and M240B machine guns during a battle sight zero range at Al Taqaddum, Iraq, Dec. 2, 2015.
     
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said recommendations to increase U.S. support for Iraq’s ground fight against IS will be discussed with President Barack Obama soon.

The recommendations will include ways that the US can "enable" Iraqi forces in their efforts to recapture the city of Mosul, the largest urban center in the Islamic State group's "caliphate," an operation that's expected to be long and difficult.

Officially, there are 3,870 US troops deployed in Iraq. But the actual number is likely about 5,000, according to media reports that Dunford did not deny on Friday.

Earlier this week, U.S. military officials confirmed the creation of a Marine outpost in Iraq. Marines operating from the small base provided targeting assistance and artillery fire to support Iraqi troops retaking several villages in the initial stages of the march to Mosul. It’s the first such base established by the United States since it returned forces to Iraq in 2014.

American Special Operations forces in eastern Syria killed a top Islamic State commander this week, Pentagon officials said Friday, part of a monthslong campaign the Obama administration boasts is eviscerating the Islamic State even as the group continues to demonstrate the power to sow violence in Western Europe.
 

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