US-led military coalition increases number of advisers in Iraq: Official

January 4, 2017 10:30 pm

US Air Force Colonel John Dorrian

The US-led military coalition in has doubled the number of its military personnel in as parts of the country’s second largest city, Mosul, still remain under the control of Daesh Takfiri terrorists,
There are now roughly 450 military advisers, said US Air Force Colonel John Dorrian in Baghdad, while speaking to reporters at the Pentagon.
On October 17, Iraqi army soldiers, supported by Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched a joint operation to retake Mosul from Daesh terrorists.
The Iraqi forces’ advance has, however, been slowed down due to the presence of hundreds of thousands of civilians, many of whom are prevented from leaving Mosul by Daesh.
The so-called coalition has expanded the forces “in the last couple of weeks,” according to Dorrian, who refused to disclose their exact locations in the Muslim country.
According to the Associated Press, “The advisers perform a range of roles, from accompanying Iraqi troops as they move around the battlefield to providing engineering and intelligence support. They are not meant to be involved in direct combat, although they have come under fire at times.”
“They remain behind the forward line of troops,” Dorrian said, adding that the Daesh (ISIL) militants had established good defenses around Mosul with more than 200,000 buildings, each a potential death trap.
“You end up having to clear each one,” he said. “And that goes from rooftop level, often in four-story or higher buildings, through every single room, and every single closet, and into tunnels that have been dug between these buildings, and sometimes beneath them. And it’s just slow-going.”
He also stated that the US is negotiating with Turkey over its plan to attack the Syrian city of al-Bab allegedly to target Daesh in an alleged effort to tackle Daesh there.
“The Turks are aware of some of the things that might be in store,” Dorrian said, adding that US warplanes provided a “show of force” as they flew over the city at Turkey’s request without dropping any bombs.
US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes allegedly against Daesh in Iraq since August 2014. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes.
The Daesh Takfiri terrorists were among militants initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.
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