04:02 GMT19 April 2021
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    The US Department of Defense is deploying an additional 615 soldiers to support Iraq’s military in retaking the Islamic State-held northern city of Mosul, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a statement.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — According to Carter’s statement, the soldiers in the new deployment will serve in roles the Defense Department describes as advise, assist, logistics and intelligence.

    The additional personnel “will be primarily to enable Iraqi security forces, and also Peshmerga, in the operations to isolate and collapse ISIL's [Islamic State] control over Mosul," Carter stated on Wednesday. "We are prepared to continue to help the Iraqi security forces consolidate their control over the country."

    In July, Carter sent 560 US soldiers, mostly engineers and support personnel, to rebuild Iraq’s al-Asad airfield and the Qayyarah air base, which were heavily damaged by US-led coalition artillery and aircraft fire during operations to dislodge Islamic State forces.

    On Wednesday, the defense secretary described the two sites near Mosul as “locations where…we're in the process, which we'll complete shortly, of completing as supply and logistics hubs supporting the campaign for Mosul.”

    Some of the newly deployed soldiers will be assigned to security details in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, and other cities to defend against Islamic State suicide bombers or attacks by the terror group’s sleeper cells.

    The United States currently has about 5,200 military personnel in Iraq.


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    military operation, Mosul, US, Iraq
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