The United States this week began transferring to Iraq and Gulf bases elite units of the US 82nd Airborne Division. debkafile’s military sources report that the first batch of 500 officers and men will be deployed in Baghdad and the Kurdish republic’s capital of Irbil, followed by another 500 in July and 250 in December. Altogether, by the end of 2015, the US will have posted another 1,250 officers and men to augment the American force already present at a base ner Habbaniya in the western Iraqi Anbar province. This force, roughly the same size as the incoming contingents, came from the US 3rd Division’s Combat Team which set up the base six months ago to train Iraqi troops to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIS.
By the end of the year, therefore, the number of US troops on the ground in Iraq will rise to several thousand. Our military sources define their mission as being to intensify raids on ISIS commanders, command centers and bases and striking columns on the move. Their operations will draw on the successful attack mounted by SEAL commandos on May 16 in the heart of the Islamist stronghold in eastern Syria. The group’s chief of finances was killed in that raid and, according to American sources, the troops carried off a rich intelligence trove of digital and telephone data on the Islamist State’s tactics and structure.
This week, too, the Pentagon started pumping new weapons to the Iraqi army under the US commitment of $1.6 billion from the Iraq Train and Equip Fund – ITEF – to equip its units with appropriate arms for combating ISIS.
Tuesday, June 9, ISIS appeared unfazed by the United States inching ever closer to a direct confrontation. Iranian cities included Tehran were placed on terror alert, debkafile’s intelligence and counter-terror sources report, after intelligence discovered that the Islamic State had started sending squads of terrorists and lone suicide bombers to execute Baghdad-style terrorist attacks on urban areas in Iran.
ISIS tacticians were said to be so encouraged by their success in blowing up two Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province in recent weeks that they decided to have a go at Iranian cities too.
Full article: Thousands of US paratroops head for Iraq. Tehran braces for onset of ISIS terror attacks on cities (DEBKAfile)