About 1,000 U.S. soldiers are now deployed in Iraq for humanitarian assistance mission 1408144

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Defence & Security News - United States

 
 
Thursday, August 14, 2014 04:27 PM
 
About 1,000 U.S. soldiers are now deployed in Iraq for humanitarian assistance mission.
U.S. helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys are on the ground in northern Iraq and operating from a secure airfield protected by Kurdish forces, the latest sign of an expanding Iraq mission that now includes about 1,000 U.S. troops, defense officials said Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
     
U.S. helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys are on the ground in northern Iraq and operating from a secure airfield protected by Kurdish forces, the latest sign of an expanding Iraq mission that now includes about 1,000 U.S. troops, defense officials said Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
Iraqi Kurdish soldiers check weapons in Dibega district near Irbil, Iraq.
     

The Ospreys arrived overnight Tuesday as they ferried about 130 additional U.S. troops into the airfield, which is in or near the Kurdish city of Irbil, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

The new U.S. troops include more than 80 Marines and dozens of special operations soldiers. Those troops were deployed from other locations within U.S. Central Command, Warren said.

The precise number of U.S. aircraft on the ground in northern Iraq is likely to fluctuate, but for now includes about four MV-22 Ospreys and several rotary-wing aircraft, defense officials said.

The aircraft will support the 130 new U.S. troops authorized by President Obama on Tuesday night. Their mission is limited to conducting intelligence assessments on Islamic State forces and helping to prepare possible recommendations for an expanded humanitarian assistance mission to help the Yazidis. Among those 130 new troops are some aircrew personnel and maintainers, Warren said.

About 1,000 U.S. troops are now in Iraq, including about 200 in Irbil, which is under assault from Islamic State forces. In total, about 900 troops are providing security for U.S. personnel and conducting intelligence assessments. About 100 more are on permanent assignment to the U.S. Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq and arrived before the militants began seizing large swaths of Iraq territory in June.

 

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