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More U.S. Troops Will Be in Combat in Iraq: Military Official

More U.S. Troops Will Be in Combat in Iraq: Military Official

by Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Corky Siemaszko for NBC News

The U.S. special operation forces headed to Iraq won't be sitting on the sidelines in the fight against ISIS — they'll be in combat, a top military official said Wednesday.

"A raid is a combat operation, there's no way around that," said Colonel Steve Warren, the Baghdad-based spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. "So yeah, more Americans will be coming here to Iraq and some of them will be conducting raids inside of both Iraq and Syria."

Warren said the U.S. forces taking on the militants are a "small number of highly skilled commandos" who will be helping to direct surgical strikes that will be both precise and limited in scope.

The missions will be "exceptionally well-planned" and "very well-targeted," Warren said.

Warren said the new force will add about 100 U.S. military service members to the roughly 3,500 already in Iraq, thus "raising the force cap."

The number of commandos who will actually be in a position to kill ISIS fighters will number just in the double digits, Warren said. The role of the rest is to provide mission support.

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