Washington Post: Why U.S. forward air controllers are moving closer to combat in Mosul
With the grinding battle for east Mosul all but over, Iraqi troops in recent days have begun their advance into the Islamic State-held western portion of the city, crossing the Tigris river and driving up from the south toward Mosul’s airport.
Backed by the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes, artillery, Special Operations forces and hundreds of advisers, Iraqi troops are expected to encounter heavy resistance as they enter western Mosul’s labyrinth of alleyways, tight side streets and multistory buildings.
This dense urban terrain, compounded with the presence of thousands of civilians, has forced U.S. forces to adjust their tactics to better assist Iraqi troops.
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WNU Editor: U.S. forces are not only nearer the front lines, but the rules on engagement have also been changed .... giving these U.S. forward air controllers the authority to now call in strikes directly.