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Defence & Security News - (USA)
US might reinforce its troops in Iraq
The US Department of Defence is considering reinforcing its military presence in Iraq, in an effort to assist the country’s Army to defeat the Islamic States in Mosul and other areas. The proposal has been presented to the White House by the Defence Secretary Ash Carter and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USMC Gen. Joseph Dunford, according to the latter’s statement.
US might reinforce its forces in Iraq
An M777A2 howitzer at Fire Base Bell in Iraq providing fire support (Photo: USMC)

Gen. J. Dunford said at the end of March that President Barack Obama had been presented with a series of proposals to better support the Iraqi forces. As of now, the US presence in Iraq officially amounts to 3,870 soldiers, which is closer to 5,000 if temporary troops are added. Among other missions, they train the Iraqi forces, they advise them during operations and man the firebase that provides cover to combat troops.

Adding more personnel and firebases is considered as a “safe” option, given that these troops are well behind the frontline. However, the truth is that by the end of March, a US Marine was killed and several others wounded during the second attack from the Islamic State against Fire Base Bell, at the outskirts of Makhmour in northern Iraq. Two more firebases are active in Iraq, at undisclosed locations.

Furthermore, the decision to send additional ground, combat troops and platforms depends on the Iraqi Government’s approval. The Pentagon wants to maintain the momentum in the Iraqi military operations but sending combat troops is a major step as opposed to creating more firebases.



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