News / Middle East

    US Sets Up First All-American Fire Base in Iraq

    Iraqi army members stand guard at the entrance to the Nineveh Liberation Operations Command at Makhmour base, south of Mosul, Iraq, March 13, 2016.
    Iraqi army members stand guard at the entrance to the Nineveh Liberation Operations Command at Makhmour base, south of Mosul, Iraq, March 13, 2016.

    The U.S. military has established the first all-American fire base in Iraq since the start of the war against Islamic State, a U.S. military spokesman said Monday.

    Fewer than 200 Marines have deployed to the fire base, located near the northern Iraqi town of Makhmur, to protect U.S. advisers and Iraqis who are stationed at a nearby Iraqi military base. The base is part of the U.S.-led coalition's efforts to prepare Iraqi combat forces for the fight to retake Mosul.

    "This is the first time that we've established a spot that's only American," Col. Steve Warren, a coalition spokesman, told reporters from Baghdad. "All of this movement has been done at the invitation of the Iraqi government."

    Warren said the Marines' mission is defensive and is considered part of the U.S. advise and assist mission. He insisted these Marines are carrying out the same orders as those protecting U.S. advisers at al-Taqaddum airbase during preparations to retake Ramadi from Islamic State fighters last year.

    FILE - Col. Steve Warren speaks to reporters during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq.
    FILE - Col. Steve Warren speaks to reporters during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq.

    In that instance, as well as at the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Anbar province, U.S. force protection troops were deployed within the base. The decision to deploy Marines to a new U.S.-only base near Makhmur was "a tactical decision" made "because of space" restrictions, Warren said.

    Small arms fire

    Despite the base being located behind the front lines, a small number of Islamic State fighters came close enough to the Marines' base to fire small arms at them on Monday, Warren said. Two Islamic State fighters were killed and none of the Marines was wounded in that attack.

    The firefight came just two days after U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin was killed at the new base.

    Islamic State militants fired two rockets during that assault on Saturday.

    "One landed harmlessly, and the other one unfortunately did not," Warren said. Most of the wounded troops have returned to active duty, but according to Warren, "some Marines were evacuated outside of Iraq for higher level care."


    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 21, 2016 10:32 PM
    A Wise Man wonders if this was a strategic military move by the Iraqi government to make the ISIL and al-Qaeda terrorists concentrate their attacks on the new US military troops and their new base in Iraq? .. The US troops better start building those 30 foot high blast-proof walls again? .. Just thinking?

    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    March 21, 2016 9:45 PM
    USA Must learn from his mistakes in Syria. Do not create problems for poor and helpless Syrians under the impression that we will be save.
    How much USA spend to create Terrorist Organisation IS with the help of Saudi Arab and now how much we are spending to dismantle it.
    This is good use of time and money.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora