Senior defense official leaks information about future mission against ISIS in Iraq

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter departs Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Apr. 19, 2016. Carter is visiting the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to help accelerate the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and participate in the U.S. Gulf Cooperation Council defense meeting. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)(Released)

Just hours after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced he was seeking White House approval for more troops in Iraq, the details of his request were published.

Defense officials have confirmed that 200 additional troops and eight Apache attack helicopters will be sent to Iraq, despite not being authorized to discuss the numbers publicly.

A senior U.S. official who was not authorized to speak to the media about force numbers told the Associated Press, there are eight Apache helicopters authorized to help the Iraqi forces when Iraq leaders determine they need them.

Yesterday, Ash Carter acknowledged that the plans call for moving troops forward and closer to the action.  U.S. troops will be embedded with the Iraqis at the brigade and battalion level when they were previously only advising at the division level.  This will put U.S. forces with Iraqi units who are more involved in ground combat, DoD officials confirmed.

The coalition is planning to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State which captured the city in the summer of 2014.  The decision to bring US military advisers closer to the fight was apparently made “so they can provide timely tactical guidance to the Iraqis” during their assault on Mosul.

“U.S. officials have also said that the number of special operations forces in Syria would be increased at some point, but Carter did not mention that in his comments. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly,” reported by AP.

Last month, CNN’s Barbara Starr released unauthorized information in a series of articles about US Special Operations in Iraq – even giving the location of where US special operation forces were holding an ISIS operative.

In March, Popular Military inquired about whether or not this statement is true: information that is NOT released through official military channels about operations in the theater of Iraq is in violation of OPSEC (operations security) and puts the lives of soldiers at risk.

A United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) spokesperson declined to comment but stated that he would consider this statement to be “valid”.

While detailed reports about military operations keep the public informed they also provide the Islamic State with intelligence that can put US military and Iraqi forces’ lives at risk.

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