World Bulletin / News Desk
The Pentagon may establish more fire bases to assist Iraqi forces as they move to retake Mosul from ISIL, a senior U.S. military officer said Wednesday.
"As Iraqi security forces progress toward isolating Mosul, there may be a situation, in which there is another base that is opened or reopened from years passed that would be used in the same manner as a fire support base," Navy Rear Adm. Andrew Lewis told reporters at the Pentagon.
After ISIL militants killed a U.S Marine and wounded several others in an attack on U.S. troops in Iraq last month, the Pentagon disclosed that the military had constructed a firebase in Makhmour where American advisers train Iraqi forces ahead of the Mosul operation.
Col. Steve Warren, U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition spokesman said at the time that it was the first U.S. military controlled artillery base in Iraq since the anti-ISIL war began in 2014.
But as Iraqi forces prepare to liberate the country’s second largest city and ISIL’s stronghold, the U.S. military appears set to involve more combat troops.
“It depends on the circumstances on the ground and what is going on with the campaign,” Lewis said.
Regarding Syria, he said Russia’s activities are “confined to a geographical area” and its focus is now “more refined”, implying that Moscow is more focused on ISIL rather than going after opposition fighters.
“We are not seeing them move further east at present, east of Palmyra,” he said.
The admiral said there are some “hick ups” in the U.N. brokered truce in Syria but the overall cessation of hostilities process continues.Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2016, 09:40