US Troops in Iraq are moving beyond their advise-and-assist mission, as a small team of US troops have deployed to help an Iraqi battalion build a bridge over Mosul.
According to Military Times, US troops previously restricted to division-level roles at Iraqi headquarters are being authorized to deploy with Iraqi troops at the brigade and battalion levels- for “critical missions” only.
“This mission … demonstrates how we could selectively use this authority in future operations,” said Army Colonel Christopher Garver, a Defense Department spokesman in Baghdad.
First securing the bridge on July 15th, the Iraqis then worked with a team of American engineers five days later, with the Americans being tasked with “providing advice on those protective measures to better secure the bridge,” Garver said.
The American forces worked at the site during the day but returned to the secure US base at Makhmur during night hours.
With over 4,100 troops authorized to deploy to Iraq, military commanders say additional troops may be needed for the final push into Mosul, which is slated for later this year.
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