US to expand special operations in Iraq

2015-12-01 20:55
Ash Carter (AP)

Ash Carter (AP)

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Washington - The US plans to send additional special forces to Iraq to aid Iraqi and Kurdish forces against Islamic State militants and will also consider additional forces in Syria, Defence Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday.

An expeditionary targeting force in Iraq would eventually conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIS leaders, Carter told the Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives.

He did not provide details about troop levels or where the soldiers would be based.

After a decision in October to send about 50 special forces to Syria, Carter said, "Where we find further opportunity to leverage such capability, we will be prepared to expand it."

Carter called on all countries to strengthen their fight against ISIS, pointing to recent steps by France, Britain, Italy and Germany to increase their involvement.

"We all, let me repeat that, we all must do more," he said, calling on Turkey to control its porous border.

Carter said the US strategy includes a combination of airstrikes and military and intelligence cooperation with local forces although he noted the difficulty of finding reliable partners in Syria.

The effort aims to divide the Islamic State territory in Iraq from the areas it holds in Syria.

Read more on:    ash carter  |  us  |  military

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