As ISIS forces draw ever closer to the 320 US ground troops at Iraq’s Ayn al-Assad air base, the US has introduced some Apache helicopter gunships into the battle for the nearby town of Baghdadi.
The Pentagon confirmed it had first deployed the helicopters into the battle on Friday, and dubbed Baghdadi as a “contested” town. The most recent reports suggest the town again fell to ISIS on Sunday.
Pentagon officials downplayed the situation, though analysts expressed concern of “mission creep,” as the US seems to be moving ever closer to direct involvement in the ground war themselves.
Late last week, the US announced it is sending some 4,000 combat troops to neighboring Kuwait, including both infantry and heavy armor. Though officials insisted the move was for “flexibility,” the expectation is that the troops will soon be sent into Iraq for combat missions against ISIS.