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First U.S. military advisers start mission in Iraq: Pentagon
The first teams of U.S. military advisers have begun their mission in Baghdad and more troops are on their way, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
The U.S. have deployed two special operations teams with about 40 personnel and "they have started their new mission", Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told a press briefing, adding that they were drawn from U.S. embassy in Iraq.
About 90 additional troops have arrived in Baghdad to help set up the joint operations center and another four teams of about 50 people will arrive "within the next few days," Kirby said.
U.S. President Barack Obama ordered last week to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the country's security forces in their fight against Sunni militants.
"These teams will assess the cohesiveness and readiness of Iraqi security forces, hire headquarters in Baghdad, and examine the most effective and efficient way to introduce follow-on advisers," Kirby said on Tuesday.
The teams will begin their assessments immediately and provide their findings to commanders "within the next two to three weeks", Kirby added.
The spokesman also said that the U.S. is conducting about 30 to 35 surveillance missions every day over Iraq to gather intelligence about security situation on the ground.
[Source: Xinhua, Washington, 24Jun14]
War in Iraq
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