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Iran Press TV

US considering military presence in Iraq over Daesh

Iran Press TV

Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:27PM

The US is considering military presence in Iraqi bases ahead of an imminent battle against Daesh (ISIL) militants in the Arab country.

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the country's top military officer, said discussions between American and Iraqi commanders and officials had begun on how American forces would "integrate" with Iraqi military units to take back Mosul from ISIL, the New York Times reported on Friday.

"It's fair to say that we will have positions up in the north that will facilitate supporting Iraqi security forces," General Dunford told reporters traveling with him in Paris.

One of the crucial questions to be answered, General Dunford said, is just how closely American trainers and advisers will work with the Iraqi military and with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as they try to take back Mosul from the terrorist group.

American forces established a training hub at Al Taqqadum, an Iraqi base near the town of Habbaniya in eastern Anbar Province, to aid in the retaking of the city of Ramadi last month.

Iraqi and US military leaders must decide whether the American trainers and advisers will embed with Iraqi forces at the operational headquarters, farther from the fight, or with the brigades, closer to the fighting.

General Dunford said the question is "how can we be more integrated in Mosul?"

Dunford also said the United States was considering a request from Turkey to train and equip "hundreds" of Syrian Arabs who have lost their homes to the ISIL. "They want to go back and take their homelands, and we want to support them in doing that," he said.

As of November 3, the US has reportedly conducted 3,586 airstrikes in Iraq and 2,578 in Syria against the terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since ISIL Takfiri militants began their march through the Iraqi territory in June 2014.

The heavily-armed terrorists took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country's heartland.



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