Wednesday, January 4, 2017

US Military Coalition Advisers Doubled in Iraq

The U.S.-led coalition has doubled to 450 the number of advisers assisting Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State militants.

The top U.S. spokesman for the campaign to retake Mosul said Wednesday that the additional forces will help accelerate the battle.

“We have increased the number of ‘advise and assist’ forces that are there with the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] command elements to help advise them as they move forward and to synchronize operations,” coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian said in a videoconference from Baghdad.

There are about 5,000 American military personnel in Iraq, according to the coalition, and U.S. special forces personnel also have fought IS on the ground.

More than 125,000 Iraqis have been displaced since the Mosul offensive began in October, according to the United Nations.

The Pentagon estimates there are still 3,000 to 5,000 IS fighters in Mosul.

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