Obama isn’t going to have a Gulf of Tonkin on his watch. Update to a previous story.
Contrary to reports coming out of Iraq, U.S. troops have not engaged in ground combat with the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State, according to the task force in charge of running daily operations in the U.S. and coalition mission known as Operation Inherent Resolve.
“We have seen the recent media stories and there has been absolutely no contact between U.S. military forces on the ground and ISIL (Islamic State) near al Asad airbase or anywhere else in Iraq,” said Gary Boucher, a spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. “The reports are unfounded. Throughout the past week, Iraqi security forces have had engagements with ISIL in the vicinity of al Asad
Airbase. However, U.S. forces were not a part of those engagements.”
In the past week, news organizations like the Daily Mail in England have reported what they claim was the first ground battle between U.S. forces and Daesh Islamic State.
While there are U.S. troops at the airbase, expected to be one of the places where a total of 12 brigades of Iraqi troops will receive training, there is no plan for them to take part in combat operations, Boucher said.
“There are U.S. military assessment teams at Al Asad conducting subject-matter-expert exchanges at the headquarters level, but they are not accompanying (Iraqi security forces) units conducting offensive actions against ISIL,” he said, using an alternate acronym for the Sunni insurgent group that has swept across much of Syria and Iraq, taking over several cities, killing thousands and trying to create a new Islamic caliphate.