A local Iraqi news outlet is reporting that United States
ground troops military advisers stationed in Iraq exchanged direct fire for the first time with the Islamic State terror group. The American troops reportedly were fighting alongside Iraqi and tribal fighters in close proximity to Iraq’s Ein al-Asad base, which is located near Anbar province.
Iraq’s Shafaq news reported that the American troops’ mission was to stave off the Islamic State’s advances near the base, which the report said has 100 U.S. advisers stationed there. An Iraqi commander revealed to Shafaq that “the US force [is] equipped with light and medium weapons, supported by fighter force model F-18.”
The report said that U.S. troops were “able to inflict casualties against fighters of ISIS organization and forced them to retreat from the al-Dolab area, which lies 10 kilometers from Ain al-Assad base.”
Iraqi Colonel Salam Nazim added that the battle raged from 1 A.M. to 3 A.M. on Sunday. He said that American fighter jets bombarded ISIS positions, providing air support for the U.S. and Iraqi ground troops, who would eventually force the jihadi group’s retreat.
A local tribal chief, Sheikh Mahmud Nimrawi, said of the encounter: “U.S. forces intervened because ISIS started to come near the base.” The tribal leader added that he welcomes “the U.S. intervention” and hopes it will “not be the last” mission supported by American fighters.
He continued, “We have made progress in al-Dolab… in which ISIS has withdrawn from to the villages beyond, after the battles which involved a private American force, and provided a great impetus firearm, and opened hubs around the region, [which] enabled them to storm and surprise [the] ISIS fighters.”
Nimrawi added that the U.S. government assured him it would provide tribal fighters with additional weapons to help fight against ISIS.