US forces arrive in Baghdad to advise anti-ISIL methods to Iraqi troops

US forces arrive in Baghdad to advise anti-ISIL methods to Iraqi troops
Wed Jun 25, 2014 13:20:31

The first US troops deployed to assist the Iraqi army in combating a growing ISIL terrorist insurgency have arrived and begun work, the Pentagon has said.

Nearly half the 300 special operations soldiers promised by US President Barack Obama are in Baghdad or on the front lines of the fight. The rest are expected within days.

Also, US Secretary of State John Kerry called for regional unity to expel the ISIL terrorists who have taken large swathes of Iraq.

On Tuesday, two teams totaling 40 US troops began work assessing Iraqi troops on the front line, the Pentagon said.

An additional 90 personnel will work in Baghdad to set up a new joint operations command center.

Those teams will be joined by an additional four teams of 50 troops each in the next few days.

The Obama administration has stressed the troops are not intended as operational forces but instead are there to advise the Iraqis and provide intelligence.

The Iraqi government had requested American air strikes, but Obama has been reluctant to accept the call.
The violence has claimed at least 1,075 lives in Iraq in June alone, most of them civilians, a United Nations human rights team has reported.

The UN said the figures, which include a number of verified summary executions, should be viewed as an absolute minimum.

BA/BA

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