Military news: artillery and special forces — the Americans in the land of Mosul

“U.S. serviceman died from wounds received as a result of improvised explosive device operation outside of Mosul in Iraq on 29 April,” — said the headquarters of the Coalition in Iraq. Killed Lieutenant Weston Lee from the first battalion of the second brigade of the 82nd airborne division of the United States. This is the second officially recognized by the American loss at the battle of Mosul. In October, near Mosul killed a U.S. serviceman Jason Finan.

The death of Americans once again caused the media attention to the question of what American soldiers are doing in the course of the operation in Mosul, as it is generally assumed that they are busy training Iraqi soldiers, logistic tasks and adjustment of air strikes.

The air campaign to support Iraqi forces is widely covered. You can read daily summaries of the number of sorties of aircraft and drones of the Coalition forces and destroyed the order, the actions on earth do not receive such publicity.

The first reports that the U.S. military often come under fire of Islamists during the battle for Mosul and wounded, after which required their evacuation, appeared in the Feb.

In the same month, went and reports from the artillery positions of Americans under the Mosul. As recognized by the American artillery, they did not think that they will have to fire at the enemy as often.

Only one week in February, American battery, which he called “Thor”, made by 10-20 volleys of missile and artillery system HIMARS. A couple of weeks there have been several hundred missiles. The GMLRS rockets, for example, cost 110 thousand dollars each.

Fire missiles at the densely populated city did not cause questions from the gunners, as manufactured missiles have a satellite navigation system and can carry warheads of low power, which minimizes collateral damage and destruction.

However, in March, the American artillery battery temporarily stopped attacks after the scandal during the Coalition strikes killed 137 Iraqi civilians.

In addition to HIMARS fire from the other base lead and howitzer Paladin. American soldiers refused to disclose how many projectiles with GPS guidance is used during the fighting, but said it was ready to fire both day and night. They sleep in a self-propelled howitzer systems, as is often necessary at the request of the gunner to open night.

In the words of Colonel Brett Sylvia (Sylvia Brett), at the beginning of may to the enemy in Mosul was released at least six thousand precision-guided munitions.

In addition to the American batteries, by the way, Mosul and firing of the French artillery.

At the end of March it became known that us military special forces accompanying Iraqi units during urban fighting, dressed in black Iraqi the form to fit on the front. In Baghdad, the us military command said special forces have the right to decide what to wear in the course of operations, and there is no single rule. Besides the fact that Americans fighters can not isolate from the group, I can’t count the number of them on the front line at the patrol, also, in the opinion of the us military, it is the same with the Iraqis form significantly reduces the risk of “friendly fire”.

Anyway, on the ground in Mosul at the forefront are the soldiers of the American special forces. Their large number, participate in training and physical presence on the front attributes the success of the 16th Iraqi divisions.

In April, special operations in Iraq received a new patch. The joint staff operation “resoluteness” (CJTF-OIR) published a photo shoot dedicated to the event. The caption to the photo stated that a special unit released 45 thousand square kilometers and killed 21(!) a thousand fighters. This signature then removed, and the number of liquidated called “evaluation”.

However, in the same April, CJTF-OIR called the total number of dead insurgents by the Coalition for the duration of operation, 70 thousand people, that is the share of the special forces account for about 30% of the damage the enemy manpower.

Years earlier the speaker of CJTF-OIR said that every two days special forces kill any of the important figures in LIH (banned organization in Russia — approx. ed.), without specifying whether this is a result of air strikes or ground operations. From time to time in the media leaked the details of successful and unsuccessful special operations to free hostages or the elimination of field commanders of fighters.

In CJTF-OIR also recognized that forces in Iraq have a dedicated aviation unit. Rather, the guidance forces aircraft under the formal Mosul and increases the number of the killed fighters.

Meanwhile, in late March to support operations in Mosul, the Americans decided to send another 200-300 soldiers from the 82nd airborne division. Only officially involved in Iraq 5262 soldiers, but in reality there are about six thousand. The same unit sent to Iraq on a temporary basis do not count toward established figures in 5262. That is, unofficially, the Americans in Iraq may be as much as necessary.

Today between the government of Iraq and the United States negotiations, which closely monitors Iran, how many American military will remain in Iraq after the final capture of Mosul, and how and where they will be stationed in the country.