Friday, March 10, 2017

A number of US troops operating in Iraq have been wounded

(February 23) US troops operating in the Mosul area of Iraq have come under fire by Islamic State forces in the last six to eight weeks as they move closer to the front lines. A number have been wounded US military officials finally admitted.
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Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesperson for Inherent Resolve revealed the information at a Pentagon news conference saying: "Yes, they have been under fire at different times." A defense official said that a number of US troops had been wounded but refused to say how many had been casualties. The US troops are providing advice and assistance to Iraqi units in the fight to retake the city of Mosul. The east half of the city has been retaken. Dorrian refused to provide any specifics on firefights that have taken place but noted that when attacked the units enter combat mode to defend themselves: "When someone is shooting at you, that is combat. Yes, that has happened."
The rules of engagement for the US troops in Iraq appear to have been relaxed under the Trump administration. An antiwar.com article notes:Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend today confirmed that under President Trump, those restrictions have been loosened quite a bit, and the troops are being embedded closer and closer to the front lines all the time, particularly around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.The coalition forces have posted a number of photos on their Twitter and Facebook accounts that show US troops around Mosul calling in air and artillery strikes in the attempt to liberate western Mosul from the Islamic State.
Lt.. General Stephen Townsend recently reported that US troops had been sent closer to the front lines in the Mosul offensive. Some of the woundings may have happened as long ago as eight weeks before Trump took over as president but are being revealed just now. An antiwar.com article suggests:Though the US is often lax in reporting on civilian casualties in their assorted wars, up until now they’ve been pretty forward with offering figures on US military casualties. The lack of timely and precise updates on military casualties may be an effort to further limit public opposition to the conflicts by denying the public a clear picture of what is happening abroad.
Trump has requested the military to prepare options for the fight against terrorism. It appears that in Iraq and Syria the options are for the same types of approach as Obama but on a larger scale plus the option of sending ground troops. However, a Reuters article suggests the options will represent a much more global approach. Marine General Joseph Dunford said:"This is not about Syria and Iraq. It's about trans-regional threat. So, when we go to the president with options, it will be in the context of the trans-regional threat. Our plan, to be successful, needs to, number one, cut the connective tissue between regional groups that now form a trans-regional threat."Dunford remarked that according to US military estimate the Islamic State(IS) had attracted 45,000 foreign fighters coming from more than 100 different countries.

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