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Pentagon Uses Truck-Mounted Rockets for Mosul, Raqqa Operations

© Flickr / Fort BraggM142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a multiple rocket launcher
M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a multiple rocket launcher - Sputnik International
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The United States is preparing to increase its reliance on the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

As the US prepares to launch offensives against Daesh strongholds in Raqqa and Mosul, the truck-mounted rockets will play a key role in "shaping operations," and have already been used to fire projectiles into northern Syria from neighboring Turkey, according to military officials.

A general view of a district in the city of Mosul. (File) - Sputnik International
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"What we’ve done is we’ve hammered Daesh targets with airstrikes and strikes from artillery and HIMARS," US Air Force Col. John Dorrian said, according to Defense Tech.

"The HIMARS in Turkey was fired into northern Syria. It was fired against a Daesh safehouse and the target was destroyed."

The US has also carried out recent airstrikes in Syria to cut off the terrorist group’s supply routes into Raqqa.

"Near Ar Raqqah, six strikes destroyed ten ISIL [Daesh] supply routes, three oil pump jacks and other oil drilling equipment," reads a statement released by the US Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve on Monday.

In addition to the system placed in Turkey, the Pentagon plans to deploy a second in northern Iraq.

Iraqi security forces ride in vehicles travelling to Mosul to fight against militants of Islamic State at an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad, February 21, 2016 - Sputnik International
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"Those are two separate HIMARS systems – one going to be used in Turkey to support our operations, one in support of our operations in Iraq," Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten said during a Pentagon briefing last month.

The Iraqi unit will likely be placed in the Tigris River Valley.

Last week, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman John Dorrian said that 400 additional US troops had been deployed to Iraq in preparation for the assault on Mosul. According to Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, the Mosul operation could be initiated in two or three months.

The battle is anticipated to be especially challenging as experts fear that the estimated one million residents who remain in the city could be used as human shields.

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