U.S. deploys new 100-strong special operations force in Iraq to fight the Islamic State 20312153

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Defence & Security News - United States
 
 
U.S. deploys new 100-strong special operations force in Iraq to fight the Islamic State
The Pentagon said on Wednesday a new U.S. specialized operations force being deployed to Iraq would number about 100, and the majority would not be engaged in raids. "Probably around 100, maybe a little bit less," said Steve Warren, spokesman for the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS, referring to the announcement made by U.S. defense chief Ash Carter on Tuesday that the specialized force would "over time" conduct unilateral operations in Iraq and Syria.
     
US deploys new 100 strong special operations force in Iraq to fight the Islamic State 20312153 640 001
     
"It's really going to be a majority support personnel," said Warren at a Pentagon briefing. "In fact, really fewer actual trigger-pullers... It's a very small number, a double-digit number," said Warren.

Warren's remarks came one day after Carter outlined here U.S. strategy against the IS at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, during which Carter announced that the Pentagon was sending additional special forces to Iraq.

"These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIL leaders," said Carter on Tuesday, adding that the creation of the specialized operations force was results of "full coordination" with the Iraqi government.

"The raids in Iraq will be done at the invitation of the Iraqi government and focused on defending its borders and building the ISF's (Iraqi security forces) own capability," said Carter.

Meanwhile, according to Carter, the force would also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations in Syria.

Facing mounting criticism for its Syrian policy, the White House had already announced its plan to send fewer than 50 U.S. special operations troops to assist rebels in Syria.

Despite its dismissal of having "boots on the ground" fighting the IS, the White House had argued that sending special operations forces was different from large-scale ground combat operations.

 

 

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