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US Troops in Mosul: Hundreds More Soldiers to 'Advise and Assist'

Image: US Troops in Mosul: Hundreds More Soldiers to 'Advise and Assist'

Iraqi government forces supported by fighters from the Abbas Brigade, which fight under the umbrella of the Shiite popular mobilisation units, advance in village of Badush, some 15 kilometres northwest of Mosul, during the ongoing battle to retake the city's west from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on March 8, 2017. (Mohammed Sawaf/AFP/Getty Images

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Mar 2017 09:56 AM

More U.S. troops will help efforts to liberate Mosul as the military confirmed Monday that two companies of soldiers have been sent to Iraq to fight the Islamic State.

The two companies are equivalent to from 200 to 300 soldiers, ABC News reported. The soldiers are coming from the 82nd Airborne Division's second combat brigade, who will provide "advise-and-assist" support for Iraq forces, said Col. Joseph Scrocca, spokesman Operation Inherent Resolve.

The 82nd Airborne already has 1,700 soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait helping with the advise-and-assist missions for Iraqi troops, ABC News noted. The Pentagon had been considering sending up to 1,000 additional members from the brigade for the advise-and-assist mission in Mosul.

Fox News wrote that some of the additional forces will go to the Qayyarah Airfield West, which U.S. forces have occupied since the summer. Apache gunships and GPS-guided rocket systems are based at the airfield roughly 40 miles south of Mosul to support the ongoing battle for the city, Fox noted.

A U.S. Army artillery battery located in Hamam al-Alil, 15 miles south of Mosul, has also been supporting the Iraqi-led operation into West Mosul in recent months, reported Fox News.

Nearly 200 civilians were killed in a reported coalition airstrike in Mosul earlier this month, according to NBC News. The airstrike is being investigated by senior military officials while U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed the Iraqi security forces had requested the aircraft's assistance during the strike, NBC News reported.

Defense secretary Jim Mattis, told Pentagon reporters Monday that they "are keenly aware that every battlefield where an enemy hides behind women and children," likely leading to civilian casualties, The New York Times reported.

"We go out of our way to always do everything humanly possible to reduce loss of life or injury among innocent people," Mattis said, according to the Times.

The newspaper said that the eastern portion of Mosul has been mostly secured by Iraqi forces with the help of the U.S. since January. While everyday life has returned to normal in that portion of the city, the battle in the west has become more difficult as civilian casualties and damage to buildings mount, noted the Times.

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More U.S. troops will help efforts to liberate Mosul as the military confirmed Monday that two companies of soldiers have been sent to Iraq to fight the Islamic State.
us, troops, mosul, soldiers
365
2017-56-28
Tuesday, 28 Mar 2017 09:56 AM
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