Baghdad, Iraq (TFC)— As part of it’s black ops surge against the Islamic State, the US announced yet more incoming troops to Iraq. The forces will arrive in time for an Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking Mosul, a so-called IS capital– like Syria’s Raqqa. Additionally, sources report more US firebases, not unlike one involved in a recent death, will be established as clandestine warfare drowns the region.
US officials hinted that more troops may be needed to aid in the recapture of Mosul from the Islamic State. The likely surge, The Spectrum reports, will also bring more American firebases, similar to one involved in the death of Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin. Staff Sgt. Cardin was reputedly killed by militant rocket fire after being stationed at the previously unknown Firebase Bell.
Cardin’s death not only forced the government to acknowledge Firebase Bell, but embodies the kinds of combat situations surrounding “advisors”. Just three days before, Cardin’s family was informed of his unit’s relocation to northern Iraq for an unspecified operation. Following his death, several sources reported Firebase Bell’s renaming to the Kara Soar Fire Complex. According to the Spectrum, the firebase housed 100-200 Marines, special forces operatives are, of course, not included in the estimate.
Although official narratives put the surge in future tense, Iraqi’s say it’s already been activated. According to Middle East Eye, hundreds of troops have already established a base in Anbar province, independent of indigenous forces. Iraqi military officials spoke of artillery being stationed at the new outpost, near the Ein al-Assad Iraqi base. The compound, MEE reports, will allow US troops to better monitor the Syrian border, as well as conduct “fighting missions against Daesh”, says one Iraqi official. What forces occupy the new complex remains unclear, though due to the mission they’re likely associated with more covert units. It’s establishment marks the first independent American base on Iraqi soil since 2011, MEE reports.
Despite detailed accounts by Iraqi military officials, the Pentagon has issued blanket denials of the bases existence. “There is no undercover mission’s”, asserts Chief spokesman Colonel Steve Warren, “the government of Iraq has invited an additional 200 soldiers to go to Makhmour…to live together with the Iraqi soldiers…to do training and give them advice and information. No combat missions.”
Iraqi ground-side intel has long differed from their American colleagues. Although mainstream media ignored such accounts, Iraqi commanders not only reported open US aid to militants, but also expressed skepticism over America’s motives in the new war. Some Iraqi’s felt militant success directly influenced further American entrenchment in their country. Others suspected the Americans would use IS as a reason to secure deals for more bases in Anbar province, which has now become reality.
Mosul was one of the first cities taken during the Islamic State’s initial hard charge out of Syria and into Iraq. Iraqi security forces failed for face the invaders, abandoning their posts, weapons, and equipment. Whether this was due to a highly effective militant force or a demoralized, unstructured Iraqi army remains unclear. Units such as JSOC-affiliated Delta Force and other clandestine forces returned in droves, a move which has stalemated the fight to this day.