The U.S. Army is sending two companies of combat soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team to help Iraqi troops fight against the Islamic State group in Mosul, Iraq, according to ABC News.
Defense officials confirmed that the 200 to 300 soldiers being deployed would help Iraqi soldiers fight to retake Mosul, but exactly where the troops would end up was not reported.
The Military Times reported that a brigade combat team consists of foot soldiers, cavalry troops and artillery, as well as their supply pipeline.
Spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve Col. Joseph Scrocca told ABC that the deployment was a temporary mission to provide additional “advise and assist” support to Iraqi forces.
“This is not a new capability,” he said. “It provides more advise and assist assets to our Iraqi partners.”
About 1,700 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division were already in Iraq and Kuwait to help with the mission.
The number of U.S. troops authorized to be in Iraq is 5,262, according to ABC, but the number may be closer to 6,000 if troops on temporary assignment are included. The new troops would not be included in that number, as they will be considered on temporary assignment.
The Islamic State seized the eastern half of Mosul in October, and coalition troops have been facing strong resistance from terrorist fighters in the western half of the city, ABC reported.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi anticipated the Islamic State would be defeated within a few weeks.
“We are defeating them militarily,” he said.
Fox News reported that the Pentagon would provide more details about the deployment today. We wish these American heroes, and those already deployed, all the best, and we pray for their safe and quick return once the mission is accomplished.
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