Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Boots On The Ground" UPDATE: IS Has Repeatedly Attacked U.S. Base in Western Iraq


WASHINGTON – The jihadist Islamic State has regularly attacked since late December a military base with a contingent of American troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, the U.S. Defense Department said Monday.

A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren, said that the “regular” attacks against the Iraqi air base at al-Asad have been “completely ineffective.”

“It’s fair to say al-Asad air base is coming under regular... harassment fires,” Warren said, referring to the enemy action as “purely nuisance attacks. American forces there right now have sustained absolutely no injuries, wounds or even equipment damage.”

The air base is under the control of the Iraqi army and is the center of operations for 320 U.S. members of the special forces deployed with Iraqi units to advise and train local troops in the fight against the terrorist Sunni group.

The attacks against the Iraqi air base, one of the five chosen for military training in Iraq by the Pentagon, started shortly after U.S. troops began their work in that area on the western front of the battle against IS.

The air base is near Haditha Dam that was attacked by IS, which then retreated last September following the start of U.S. air support for the Iraqi army.

Anbar province has a Sunni majority and IS has succeeded in extending its influence there beyond its strongholds in Syria.

The United States currently has more than 2,000 soldiers stationed in Iraq and U.S. President Barack Obama has promised to post as many as 3,100 troops there, though he says none of them will be involved in direct combat.


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