WASHINGTON A new force of specific operations troops becoming deployed by the United States to Iraq will likely number about one hundred, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren stated on Wednesday.
“It will be … almost certainly about 100, perhaps a little bit much less,” mentioned Warren, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State. “It is really going to be a majority support personnel, every thing from … aviators to collectors. So actual forces who will do offensive or kinetic operations, it’s a really modest number, double digit.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the deployment of the force in congressional testimony on Tuesday. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had told Reuters on Tuesday that the total number may be about 200.
A cap on the quantity of U.S. forces authorized to operate in Iraq, currently at 3,550, would be raised by about one hundred, Warren stated.
“We anticipate that … when we combine the actual trigger pullers with all of the various assistance personnel that are required, the finish state is going to be about 100 up from where we are now,” Warren said.
(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati and Phil Stewart Editing by Doina Chiacu and James Dalgleish)