21:58 GMT +3 hours26 June 2016
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An American military trainer instructs an Iraqi soldier during an exercise on approaching and clearing buildings at the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located north of the capital Baghdad, on January 7, 2015

Surprised? Pentagon Lied About How Many US Troops Are in Iraq

© AFP 2016/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
Military & Intelligence
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The Defense Department continues to claim that there are only 3,800 troops deployed in Iraq, but new information shows that the number may be much higher as the US combats Daesh in Northern Iraq.

On Monday, a Baghdad-based Pentagon spokesman for the US effort in Iraq stated he had been ordered by superiors not to divulge the total US troop presence in Iraq. For months, the Pentagon has refused to release the total number of troops, despite claiming that the full force has remained steady at some 3,800. Military and defense analysts, however, suspect that the true number may be hundreds higher.

The size of the US deployment in Iraq was called into question following the death of a US Marine on an undisclosed mission on Saturday. The Marine died when Daesh fighters fired two Katyusha rockets that struck a military outpost in the country’s north. The death forced the Pentagon to confirm the deployment of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), a 200-person force.

The 26th MEU’s deployment is not included in the number of publicly acknowledged troops on the ground in Iraq, suggesting that the actual size of America’s deployment in the region may be vastly higher than officially reported. 

To date, the official number has been capped at 3,870, after President Obama campaigned on a promise to draw down troop numbers. The emergence of Daesh in the north, however, has likely forced the US to expand their regional military presence.

The Defense Department spokesman in Iraq, Col. Steven Warren, stated that the government’s official position is to not count troops who are on "temporary deployments" in Iraq, which includes not only the Marines in northern Iraq, but also at least 100 US military advisors.

In response to inquiries regarding why the presence of the US Marine outpost, known as Firebase Bell, was not disclosed to the public prior to Saturday’s attack, Warren cited the need to keep the information secret until the Marine force became "fully operational and were ready to fight."

The outpost suffered a second attack Monday morning when "a squad-sized element" of Daesh fighters engaged in a shooting attack. US Marines returned fire, reportedly killing two fighters. There were no Marine casualties in the firefight. 

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Tags:
troop surge, US troop withdrawal, troop withdrawal, additional troops, troops, troops killed, marines, Firebase Bell, US Marines, Pentagon, U.S. Department of Defense, White House, Daesh, Steve Warren, Barack Obama, Iraq, United States
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  • FlorianGeyer
    I am never surprised when I am told that the US Pentagon staff tell lies as they frequently lie about their intelligence.
  • Bob Hofererin reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
    FlorianGeyer, They always lie about their intelligence...because they have NONE. And they are among many of the US's most intelligent...haha!!!
  • rgrag1245in reply toBob Hoferer(Show commentHide comment)
    Bob Hoferer, yeah, military intelligence, that must be an oxymoron.
  • rgrag1245
    Well yeah, all the more reason why nobody needs to be honest with their taxes.
  • Ivan Buckeye
    Pentagon doesn't reveal the true numbers for political reasons involving the electorate at home. The locations of these forces and bases are obvious to the people it matters most: the Iraqis. It might serve the Iraqi government to minimize the presence of these American forces if there is any hope of getting them off of their territory, but that is unlikely because of American '"business" interest in the country.
  • seanrkearney
    I'm always shocked when the US politicians tell the truth which is why Sanders and Trump are a welcome surprise.
  • solinokto
    Pentagon Lied --- impossible !
  • marcanhalt
    You know why America is able to stick their nose in everybody's business? Ask Geppeto. He warned Pinocchio what would happen if he started telling lies.
  • Ann
    No, not surprised - I knew they were lying the minute their lips parted.
  • Annin reply toseanrkearney(Show commentHide comment)
    seanrkearney, And the establishment is doing it's best to destroy them both. There's a media blackout on Sanders, and they're attacking...Trump's WIFE.
  • Annin reply tosolinokto(Show commentHide comment)
    solinokto, LOL - define "lied"
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