US escalation in Iraq

By Patrick Martin

Two attacks on a US firebase in northern Iraq, which killed one US Marine and wounded several more, have led to revelations about a substantial escalation of the US military intervention in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Pentagon has deployed more than 5,000 soldiers in Iraq, some 20 percent more than the current “cap” of 3,870 troops publicly announced by the Obama White House. The Daily Beast web site gave the total as 5,325.

The revelations of additional US forces came after ISIS attacked a Marine Corps position in Makhmour, about 70 miles south of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and the largest urban area controlled by ISIS in either Syria or Iraq.