Recent press reports claiming that the U.S. is about to send 1,000 additional American troops to act as a “reserve force” in Kuwait or Syria have been inflated. The story is true, but the number of troops being deployed is actually just a fraction of that.
Pentagon officials have confirmed that the U.S. will deploy two companies from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East consisting of approximately 200 troops, according to a report from Fox News.
Sent at the request of the top American commander in Baghdad fighting ISIS, their mission will be to shore up security in either Iraq or Syria.
The decision regarding where those additional troops will end up will be made by Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is the top commander of the U.S.-led coalition charged with running the ground war against ISIS.
“I don’t foresee us bringing in large numbers of coalition troops, mainly because what we’re doing is, in fact, working,” Townsend told reporters earlier this month.
Noting that U.S. forces have been there since the summer, reports say some of the additional forces from the 82nd Airborne Division will be deployed to the Qayyarah Airfield West. “Apache gunships and GPS-guided rocket systems called HIMARS are based there roughly 40 miles south of Mosul to support the ongoing battle for Iraq’s second largest city,” according to the report.
“In Hamam al-Alil, 15 miles south of Mosul, a U.S. Army artillery battery has also been supporting the Iraqi-led operation into West Mosul in recent months.”
ISIS fighters in Mosul have been there for more than five months, but Iraq Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, has predicted that “ISIS will be defeated ‘militarily’ in the next few weeks.”
It has been reported that a U.S. Marine artillery battery has recently been “supporting a US-led air assault roughly 30 miles west of Raqqa,” the de facto capital of ISIS. And on Sunday, it was announced that the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had captured a strategic airfield.
H/T: Fox News
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