US To Send ‘Specialized’ Force To Iraq To Fight Daesh

BELGRADE – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the United States is deploying a “specialized expeditionary targeting force” to Iraq to put more pressure on Daesh militants and be in position to conduct raids over the border in Syria.

In this picture relased by the US Department of Defence, US Army Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division scan the landing zone for possible hostile forces 26 August 2005. US and Iraqi forces launched 16 March 2006 what they said was the biggest air raid since the war began three years ago, with a massive assault dubbed Operation Swarmer, intended to clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra, over 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of Baghdad. AFP PHOTO/US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE SGT RUSSELL E. COOLEY
In this picture relased by the US Department of Defence, US Army Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division scan the landing zone for possible hostile forces 26 August 2005. US and Iraqi forces launched 16 March 2006 what they said was the biggest air raid since the war began three years ago, with a massive assault dubbed Operation Swarmer, intended to clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra, over 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of Baghdad.
AFP PHOTO/US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE SGT RUSSELL E. COOLEY

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Carter said the force would help Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against Daesh.  He said the deployment was being done in cooperation with the Iraqi government.

“These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture Daesh leaders,” he said. “This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations into Syria.”

He did not provide specific troop numbers but said the force will be “a larger number” than the small group of U.S. troops being deployed separately to Syria to assist opposition groups battling Daesh.

President Barack Obama in October authorized “fewer than 50” U.S. special operations forces to coordinate Syrian local fighter movements with the U.S.-led coalition efforts.

Carter said those forces are “preparing” to start operations in Syria but declined to give further details.

SOURCE VOA

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