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US Military Open to Adding Another Fire Base in Iraq

FILE - U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Andrew Lewis speaks during an interview on the bridge of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier.

The U.S. military could open an additional fire base to support Iraqi security forces working to isolate the city of Mosul, according to a senior U.S. military official.

"There may be a situation in which there is another base that is opened or reopened from years past that would be a fire support base behind the front lines," Rear Admiral Andrew Lewis, the Vice Director for the Pentagon's Joint Staff Operations, told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday.

Lewis said that, to his knowledge, no other U.S. fire bases have been opened in Iraq since the fire base in Makhmur was opened last month.

An American Marine was killed on the base, initially named Fire Base Bell and now known as the Kara Soar Counter Fire Complex, during a rocket attack by Islamic State forces on March 19.

A fire base is a temporary space used to fire artillery in support of advancing troops.

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    Carla Babb

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