Thursday, September 11, 2014

'American Forces ARE On The Ground In Iraq'

American Special Forces commandos are on the ground fighting in northern Iraq, according to a published report, just a week after Barack Obama said that wouldn't happen.  And with a second brutal beheading in Syria ,the president may soon have to decide how much more military might to deploy.

Even as he has authorized more than 100 target airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Iraq, Obama told the American Legion on August 26 that 'American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.'

'I will not allow the United States to be dragged back into another ground war in Iraq,' he said, adding later that 'the answer' to ISIS 'is not to send in large-scale military deployments that overstretch our military.'
His parsing of words – 'combat troops' and 'large-scale' – now seem calculated to produce platoon-sized loopholes.

Daily Beast freelance reporter wrote Tuesday that he saw 'what appeared to be bearded Western Special Operations Forces' in a caravan of armored vehicles near the Iraqi town of Zumar.
The battle-scarred location, 30 miles from Mosul and a bit further from Erbil, had been the site of fierce fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga forces and ISIS militants.

'They didn't wear any identifying insignia,' the reporter added, 'but they were visibly Western and appeared to match all the visual characteristics of American special operations soldiers.'
This particular freelancer should know: He's a 27-year-old former U.S. Army Ranger who served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.

A Peshmerga commander, backed up by Kurdish intelligence sources, confirmed that 'Yes, German and American forces are on the ground here. They are helping to support us in the attack.'
A retired Special Forces soldier told MailOnline on Tuesday that most of the 100-plus airstrikes the Pentagon has confirmed would have required 'some kind of boots on the ground' to deliver real-time intelligence on airstrike targets – such as who is traveling in a convoy or which ISIS leaders are in a building.

They're also useful for 'painting targets,' he said, referring to a technique involving a laser, held by a nearby Special Operator and pointed at a target. Some missile guidance systems can detect laser light and use it for precision guidance.

And, the source added, 'if keyhole sat[ellite] images don't confirm a 'kill,' it helps to have ground forces who can find out for sure who we've just taken out.'

U.S. and German special ops teams, the Daily Beast reported, 'had taken up positions in Zumar that allowed them to coordinate with U.S. aircraft.'

By David Martosko

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