Posted on October 15, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Mosul, Security
Photo: US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Jocelyn Rich
WASHINGTON,— About 500 soldiers from Fort Riley in Kansas will deploy to Iraq in the fall to assist Iraqi forces in their fight against the Islamic State group, the Army announced Friday.
The 1st Infantry Division Headquarters unit at Fort Riley will replace the 101st Airborne Division to command troops as they train, advise and assist Iraq’s security forces, Lt. Col. Christiana Kretchman, an Army spokesman, wrote in a news release.
The announcement comes as Iraqi forces prepare for the battle to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from the Islamic State group.
Mosul is one of the last remaining strongholds of the Islamic State and the terrorist group’s de facto capital in Iraq. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said the Iraqis would be ready to fight in October.
“We will assist in training Iraqi commanders, staffs, soldiers, and police officers as they plan and conduct counter-[Islamic State group] operations in both the Tigris and Euphrates River valleys, with a central focus on the city of Mosul,” Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Martin, incoming commander of the 1st Infantry Division, said in a written statement.