The United States says it will deploy a new force of specific operations troops to Iraq that will be capable to conduct raids, free of charge hostages, capture Islamic State leaders and carry out “unilateral operations” in Syria.
- US defence secretary announces plan to deploy new expeditionary group to Iraq
- Troops would be utilized to conduct raids against Islamic State leaders and carry out ‘unilateral operations’ in Syria
- Force to be deployed in Iraq, official says
- US ‘eager’ to do far more to help nearby forces combat the Islamic State group
US defence secretary Ash Carter offered couple of particulars on the new expeditionary group.
It is separate from a previously announced deployment of up to 50 US unique operations troops in Syria to coordinate on the ground with US-backed rebels fighting in a civil war raging given that 2011.
Mr Carter said the new force would be bigger than the a single getting sent into Syria, but did not specify how many troops it would include.
The Pentagon chief said the new deployment of this “specialised expeditionary targeting force” was being carried out in coordination with the government of Iraq and would help Iraqi government security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
“These unique operators will over time be able to conduct raids, cost-free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIL leaders,” Mr Carter told the US Property of Representatives Armed Solutions Committee, utilizing an acronym for Islamic State.
“This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations into Syria.”
A US defence official, speaking on situation of anonymity, stated the new force would be primarily based in Iraq.
US president Barack Obama is under stress to accelerate a US-led coalition’s efforts to combat Islamic State, in distinct following the November 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 folks.
Mr Obama has been reluctant to commit large numbers of American ground troops, instead deploying restricted numbers of advisors and elite forces.
Critics, including Republicans in Congress, accuse Mr Obama of moving also slowly against Islamic State, which controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and claimed duty for the Paris attacks.
The leading US military officer, Marine Corps Basic Joseph Dunford, mentioned the new elite force would significantly accelerate the collection of intelligence, which “will make our operations significantly more successful”.
“We’re fighting a campaign across Iraq and Syria so we’re going to go where the enemy is, and we’re going to conduct operations exactly where they most effectively degrade the capabilities of the enemy,” General Dunford testified.
Mr Carter stated all coalition members should do far more. He cited gaps along the Turkish-Syrian border that Islamic State makes use of to smuggle goods and fighters to and from the battlefield.
“Turkey have to do more to handle its typically-porous border,” he stated.
“Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states joined the air campaign in the early days, but have because been pre-occupied by the conflict in Yemen.”
Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, iraq, syrian-arab-republic, united-states