US Reviewing Iraq Operations After Two Soldiers Killed

Troops were clearing a cave complex south of Irbil

US officials say that commanders are reviewing how troops conduct missions in Iraq and Syria after an incident south of Irbil in which two US troops were killed fighting in a cave complex.

US operations in Iraq have become complicated since the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. After Iraq failed to expel US forces from the country, they’ve made a point to not conduct joint operations with the US for most anti-ISIS engagements.

In this particular case, the US says the two Marines were working with Iraqi counter-terrorism forces, and had to be pulled out of a crevice they fell into. The recovery of the two bodies was a whole separate US operation that took six hours.

And while the US officials say they’ll continue to support Iraq against ISIS, these look to be very comprehensive reviews of when and how that happens. This may suggest that the US is not going to be so deeply engaged in the fight going forward, which likely will suit Iraq just fine.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.