The US advise-and-assist mission in Iraq is expanding.
Recently, a team of American forces has been deployed alongside an Iraqi battalion and help install a bridge over the Tigris River south of Mosul, Army Col. Christopher Garver, a Defense Department spokesman in Baghdad said.
The US troops will assist to build a bridge in order to provide the Iraqis with a ground link to the Qayyarah military airfield that will play a key role in the expected advance on Mosul.
“The use of the bridge connecting the west and east sides of the Tigris … will greatly improve maneuverability and shorten lines of communication for the ISF (Iraqi security forces) as they prepare for the eventual assault to liberate Mosul,” Garver said.
Garver noted that the operation involved fewer than 10 U.S. troops. However, it’s the first time when US military advisers officially accompanied the Iraqi army near to the front line.
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces have been conducting military operations south of Mosul in order secure the area and set a foothold for further advances on the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq.