Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi denied reports that US ground troops, who have been stationed in growing numbers around Mosul, will be participating in the military offensive against ISIS, aimed at ultimately retaking the city.
“Foreign troops are here for advising, not fighting,” Obeidi claimed, even though US officials have made a big deal about establishing a “fire base” adjacent to Mosul for launching artillery strikes against ISIS targets in the area.
Iraq launched an offensive against villages in the area last week, seizing three of them, though that offensive has since stalled with reports of mass desertion by Iraqi military forces, and complaints by locals in the villages of looting.
The involvement of US ground troops in Iraq’s war has been hugely politically controversial in the country, still fresh off a protracted US occupation, and the Abadi government has been desperate to downplay how much the US is doing.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Taliban Kills Top Afghan Officials in Insider Attack - October 18th, 2018
- US, Israel Send Secret Delegation to Ukraine to Train Against S-300 - October 17th, 2018
- Koreans Hold Talks With UN on Demilitarizing the Border - October 17th, 2018
- Pentagon Exaggerates ISIS Foreign Fighter Estimates to Justify Staying in Syria - October 17th, 2018
- Afghan Candidate Killed by Bomb Under His Office Chair - October 17th, 2018