US Advisers Are Fighting Alongside Iraqi Forces in Battle for Mosul | Military.com
U.S. military advisers are now fighting alongside Iraqi forces near the front lines against the Islamic State, a sign of President Donald Trump's willingness to grant more latitude to American commanders than they've had since Iraq's ground war against the militants was launched more than two years ago.
The Trump administration has not yet granted new authorities, but has loosened the reins for U.S. generals running the war, allowing hundreds of U.S. troops to join advancing Iraqi forces as they embark on their most complex mission to date: liberating Mosul, their second-largest city.
Allowing U.S. forces to head to the leading edge of the battle was almost unthinkable under the Obama administration, which was reluctant to be seen as putting American lives in harm's way in a foreign war.
In recent weeks, however, about 450 U.S. special forces and spotters have embedded with the Iraqis to direct airstrikes against Islamic State positions and advise Iraqi ground commanders on how best to advance on the battlefield as they move to free western Mosul, said Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.
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