The Iraqi army band performs during a change of command ceremony at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 15, 2006. The Iraqi army 2nd Brigade, 9th Mechanized Division is assuming the command of the Sabeaa Al-Boor and Hora Al-Bash battlespace from U.S. Army Soldiers with 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. The Iraqi soldiers will take the lead and conduct their own counterinsurgency operations in this battlespace. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael Larson) (Released)

WASHINGTON-  A recent Pentagon report, followed by comments made by department officials, have some wondering just how many US troops are currently serving in Iraq.  The official number has long been stated at 3,500 troops, which are said to be in Iraw to help ‘train and eqip local security forces,’  The main mission is to secure the areas of Iraq not already occupied from ISIS.

On Wednesday, February 3rd, the Pentagon upgraded the number from 3,500 to 3850.  A difference of 350 is not that significant in and of itself, considering the US once stationed over 106,000 troops in Iraq.  However, Baghdad-based military spokesman Col. Steve Warren added to the new upgrade that is was“fair to say” the numbers of actually troops could be ‘hundreds more’ than even the number given.

The question is this, how many American troops are now serving in Iraq and are they directly engaged in combat?  In other words, does America already have ‘boots on the ground?’

This follows a report back on January 13th that suggested the US military might be considering expanding its efforts to target ISIS beyond Syria and Iraq.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter then stated, “The threat posed by ISIL, and groups like it, is continually evolving, changing focus and shifting location.  That’s why the Defense Department is organizing a new way to leverage the security infrastructure we’ve already established in Afghanistan, the Middle East, East Africa, and southern Europe into a network to counter transnational and transregional threats like ISIL  They help us act decisively to prevent ISIL affiliates from becoming as great of a threat as the parent tumor itself.”

 

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