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US troops flow into Iraq as ISIS continues advances

Another four teams will arrive in the coming days.

Image: Apexchange

NEARLY HALF OF the roughly 300 U.S. military advisers and special operations forces expected to go to Iraq are now in Baghdad and have begun to assess Iraqi forces in the fight against Sunni militants, the Defence Department said as the US ramped up aid to the besieged country.

At the Pentagon, Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters the troops in Baghdad included two teams of special forces and about 90 advisers, intelligence analysts, commandos and some other support personnel needed to set up a joint operations center in the Iraqi capital.

Another four teams of special forces would arrive in the next few days, Kirby said.

Those troops, added to the approximately 360 other US forces that are in and around the embassy in Baghdad to perform security, would bring the total U.S military presence in Iraq to about 560.

Kirby also said the US was conducting up to 35 surveillance missions over Iraq daily to provide intelligence on the situation on the ground as Iraqi troops battle the aggressive and fast-moving insurgency.

President Barack Obama last week announced he would send as many as 300 advisers into Iraq to assess and advise Iraqi security forces. Part of that plan involved setting up two joint operating centers — one in Baghdad and the other in northern Iraq, where a lot of the fighting has taken place.

Read: US support for Iraq will be “intense, sustained”… but only if leaders work towards lasting peace

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Associated Press

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