I just wanted to let y'all know that the U.S. ground war in Iraq that Barack Obama "ended" to great fanfare is back on again:
The American combat role in Iraq expanded on Thursday as U.S. Marines operating from a small outpost provided targeting assistance and artillery fire to support "Iraqi troops" beginning an "offensive" to retake Mosul from Islamic State [jihadis]ts.
"Iraq" said its "armed forces" went on the "offensive" against [the] Islamic State in the northern province of Nineveh, reported Reuters, in what Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described as the first phase of a campaign to liberate areas around the city of Mosul.
The Iraqi assault was launched from the Makhmur area, to which thousands of "Iraqi troops" have deployed in recent weeks, setting up base alongside Kurdish Peshmerga and U.S. forces around forty miles south of Mosul, [the] Islamic State's main bastion.
A senior U.S. official said the Marines fired illumination rounds to help the "Iraqi forces" locate Islamic State fighters, and also fired artillery rounds in support of the operation, as "Iraqi troops" took control of several villages on the outskirts of Makhmur, reported the Associated Press. The official was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and requested anonymity. [emphases added]
Methinks the Regime is dramatically overselling the success of "Iraqi forces" - and their ominously obtuse assurances of how OF COURSE they won't get pulled into the war any further:
Earlier this week, U.S. military officials confirmed the creation of the Marine outpost, dubbed Fire Base Bell. It's the first such base established by the U.S. since it returned forces to Iraq in 2014. But they insisted that the nearly two hundred Marines were only there to provide security for Iraqi forces and U.S. advisers at the nearby Iraqi base in Makhmur.
A second U.S. official on Thursday said the Marines provided the artillery fire in response to a request from the Iraqi government and that U.S. leaders don't believe this to be an expanded combat mission.
Yeah, you guys keep telling yourselves that. And after ISIS routes this latest batch of "Iraqi forces," what will you do then? Either retreat and evacuate - again - which would be....awkward. Or....send in reinforcements. And the troop level grows, and U.S. casualties resume, and the force level keeps growing, until we're all the way back into Operation Iraqi Freedom II - or as far as our Obama-demolished military capabilities will go. Because that's how war works. You know the old saying: "No operational plan ever survives first contact with the enemy".
It's especially similar to how the U.S. got drawn into....Vietnam, the unintentional war in which victory was denied, guaranteeing nothing but a seemngly insatiable stream of bodybags with nothing to show for it.
That's Barack Obama's phony war in Iraq, folks. Whose invisibility has been due (aside from media camouflaging) to its miniscule scale. At the rate the escalation is picking up steam, it won't stay "under the radar" for long.
UPDATE: On the plus side, we took out the Islamic State's vice president, so that's something.