Iraq folly: Obama errs in sending in more troops

Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for USA forces in Iraq and Syria, told a Pentagon briefing that many of those targeted were military commanders, propagandists and those facilitating foreign recruits into territory controlled by Islamic State, which has sympathizers worldwide.

The US-led coalition against the Daesh has eliminated 18 leaders of the terror group in the past month in Iraq and Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman John Dorrian told reporters on Thursday.

He said that USA and coalition airstrikes in the last 30 days have killed 18 ISIS leaders - 13 of them in Mosul.

"They do keep loosing people because we keep hammering with air strikes", Dorrian said.

He adds that refugee screening is one of the most important components of the Mosul operation, saying it's a conversation the USA -led coalition has with the Iraqis "every day".

"By taking these individuals off the battlefield, it creates some really disruptive effects to enemy command and control", Dorrian added.

Most of the newly-deployed US troops will support the fight to retake Mosul from al-Asad air base in Anbar province, about 100 miles west of Baghdad, and Qayara airfield, roughly 40 miles south of the ISIL stronghold, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said on September 28. According to Dorrian, the continuing its attacks in order to defeat the terror organization's forces on the ground, mostly in Mosul. It remains to be seen how long it will take before the USA becomes the "trigger pullers" in recapturing Mosul from ISIS.

The announcement comes as US forces prepare to back the Iraqi government's push to retake Mosul from ISIS next month.

When asked why some troops are going to a remote airbase in western Iraq's Anbar province, Dorrian said the goal is to turn al-Asad airbase located northwest of Ramadi into a 24/7 airport to fly drones and support Iraqi military aircraft.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel.



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