The Iraqi government has long rejected US offers to use Apache helicopters in military offensives against ISIS, with the Abadi government fearing the perception that they are taking a back seat to the US and giving the Pentagon too much power in driving the offensive.
But the helicopters are active in the offensive against the large ISIS city of Mosul, with Pentagon officials saying they are being used “with significant effect” and are primarily aimed at attacking vehicles that they believe are going to be suicide bombs.
These deployments are part of an ever-growing US involvement in front-line operations within the Mosul invasion, with signs that more or more US special forces, who officials insist are “non-combat” and wouldn’t be put on the front lines are getting closer and closer to the areas of direct combat.
This reflects a split in administration priorities, as the Obama Administration is eager to show significant progress in the Mosul offensive, but remains desperate to keep up the pretense that the thousands of US troops in Iraq aren’t actually combat troops, irrespective of the combat they participate in.
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