Defense

June 25, 2014

U.S. advisers arrive in Iraq to begin sssessment

Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

The first U.S. service members ordered to Iraq to help the Iraqi military counter a terrorist threat have arrived in the country, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said June 24.

About 90 troops have arrived in Baghdad, where they will join some 40 others attached to the U.S. Embassy to establish assessment teams and a joint operations center with Iraqi forces.

They are the first of what could be up to 300 U.S. military advisors President Barack Obama has ordered to the country to assess an insurgency led by a Syrian-based extremist group that has routed the Iraqi military and taken over much of the country’s north and west while continuing to move closer to Baghdad, threatening to push Iraq to the brink of full-blown sectarian war. The group is known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, and also as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Kirby told reporters four additional teams totaling about 50 people will arrive in Iraq in the coming days. U.S. special operators will assess the cohesiveness of Iraqi security forces and the threat posed by advancing ISIL insurgents, and then will provide recommendations on how to best help the Iraqi military.

We expect that they’ll start to flow their assessments up through the chain of command in about two to three weeks, the admiral said.

U.S. military aircraft already are flying up to three dozen surveillance missions over Iraq every day and, Kirby said, are sharing what we can with the Iraqi security forces.

At his regular Pentagon briefing, Kirby said the United States does not yet have a full picture of the situation on the ground, but that ISIL fighters continue to solidify their gains as they advance and have no trouble crossing the Iraq-Syria border at will.

They continue to press into central and southern Iraq, Ö and they are still a legitimate threat to Baghdad, he added.

The U.S. troops arrived in Iraq a day after defense officials said the Baghdad government had provided acceptable assurances that the Americans would receive the necessary legal protections to operate in the country, the same level of immunity Kirby said, that diplomats and U.S. forces based at the U.S. Embassy already receive.

While the United States and Iraq do not have a status of forces agreement in place to provide U.S. troops in the country with blanket immunity, Kirby said, Iraq has committed to protections that are adequate to the short-term assessment and advisory mission our troops will be performing.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>