Pentagon: U. S. May Set Up More Tiny Outposts in Iraq

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 6:42 PM

Rear. Adm. Andrew Lewis, the vice director for operations, said there may be situations where the U.

Pentagon: U. S. May Set Up More Tiny Outposts in Iraq

The Pentagon will consider opening more tiny military outposts that'd allow artillery support and other aid to Iraqi forces as they prepare to retake the northern city of Mosul from ISIS militants, a senior military officer on the Joint Staff said Wednesday.

Rear. Adm. Andrew Lewis, the vice director for operations, said there may be situations where the U. S. would either open a base or reopen one that was used in the earlier Iraq war. Those outposts, he said, would be behind the front lines, and would be used the way U. S. Marines are operating out of what's been known as Fire Base Bell, exterior Makhmour.

Latest mo fewer than two hundred Marines set up the outpost and provided targeting assistance and artillery fire for the Iraqis. It was the first time such a base had been established by the U. S. since it returned forces to Iraq in two thousand-fourteenth.

Initially military executive said the base was set up purely to allow force protection for Iraqi forces and U. S. advisers at the nearby Iraqi base in Makhmour.

But soon after, the Marines were firing illumination rounds to assistance the Iraqi forces dispose IS fighters, and also firing artillery rounds in support of the operation, as Iraqi troops took control of several villages on the outskirts of Makhmour, southeast of Mosul. The Marine remained well behind the front lines.

Lewis said that setting up another similar base as the Iraqi forces move toward Mosul is "dependent on what'south happening on the ground" and in the military campaign.

"As Iraqi security forces progress toward isolating Mosul, there may be a situation in which there is another base," he said, adding that it could be a former U. S. outpost and would be used to allow artillery fire from behind the front lines.

"Their mission is to allow fires and support of Iraqi forces, just love we do with airplanes, just it'south surface-to-surface fires (versus) air-to-surface fires," he said. "Same concept, very accurate."

He added that extra security measures have been keep in space at Fire Base Bell since an attack on the outpost several weeks ago.

Marine Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin of Temecula, California, was killed by rocket fire in that attack. The Marines at the fire base are portion of the twenty-sixth Marine Expeditionary Unit, which has been based on the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship that's been deployed in the region.

Pentagon executive have said they're on a temporary, short-term deployment into Iraq.

During the years of the Iraq war, U. S. forces set up a no of tiny forward operating bases or combat outposts around the country.

Lewis also well-known there has been a recent title modify for Fire Base Bell. It'south unclear why the military changed names, but the new name — the Karasoar Counterfire Complex — reflects the Iraqi location and appears to focus more on its security mission rather than a combat role.

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