US troops photographed on Mosul front lines

US troops photographed on Mosul front lines
A The New Arab cameraman has photographed US troops side by side with Iraqi forces battling IS in east Mosul close to the front lines.
2 min read
26 November, 2016

US troops advising Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group [IS] in Mosul have been photographed in the east of the city close to the front lines of the fighting.

A The New Arab cameraman captured footage on Thursday of US troops from the 101st Airborne Division on the ground along with the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service [CTS].

The 101st Airborne has been deployed for several months in Iraq and has been tasked with advising and assisting the Iraqi forces to take back the city.

"The US army and Iraqi intelligence have been trying to prevent US troops from being photographed, especially the forces on the front lines of the fighting," The New Arab Iraq correspondent Ahmad al-Jumaili said.

US helicopters were also seen attacking areas of the city under IS-control, Jumaili added.

US troops have been active on the eastern front of the battle, which has been led by elite forces from the CTS.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has repeatedly denied reports that US troops have had any direct role in the fighting on the ground in Mosul.

Last month, a US naval officer was killed by a roadside bomb north of Mosul, where he was serving as an adviser to Iraqi troops.

The death was the fourth time a US military member has been killed in combat in Iraq since operations against IS began there in 2014.

Since the October 17 start of a broad offensive to retake Mosul, Iraqi forces have already recaptured several eastern neighbourhoods despite fierce jihadist resistance.

A senior Iraqi commander said Wednesday that 40 percent of eastern Mosul had now been retaken.

Also on Wednesday, Iraqi pro-government militias cut off the jihadists' last supply line from Mosul to Syria, trapping them in the city for a bloody last stand.

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