Monday, October 24, 2016
U.S. Mission Creep In Iraq
Forbes: The U.S. Military's Gradual Return To Iraq [Infographic]
In late September, President Obama authorized sending 600 additional U.S. troops to Iraq to assist local forces in the offensive to retake the city of Mosul. After ISIS overran much of northern and western Iraq in 2014, the Pentagon rushed 300 troops to defend Baghdad. In the months since, the U.S. has continued to quietly expand its presence in the country with troop levels reaching 2,500 by January 2015.
According to the Pentagon, the majority of the troops have been training and advising Iraqi security forces and Kurdish peshmerga forces. Even though local forces are carrying out the bulk of combat operations, American special forces have been active in the country since ISIS conducted its lighting advance two years ago. As early as October 2014, a contingent of Apache attack helicopters started conducting offensive operations near Fallujah. By the summer of 2015, American artillery was operating on the ground with the number of military personnel in the country reaching 3,400.
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WNU Editor: I expect these numbers to continue to increase in the coming months.