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Carter in Irbil for up-close account of Mosul fight
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited Irbil on Sunday for a closer assessment of the fight against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq and to hear from Kurdish leaders whose forces launched a new offensive in the operation to wrest Mosul from the militants' control.
Carter met with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, as well as U.S. service members who are not far from the battle.
The Pentagon chief praised the efforts of the Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, and acknowledged their battle losses.
They fight extremely well. But because they're fighting hard, they suffer ... casualties," said Carter, who spent Saturday in Baghdad getting updates from his military leadership and meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The U.S. is prepared to provide additional support for the fight if requested by Iraq and U.S. commanders, Carter said in the capital.
Peshmerga Brig. Gen. Halgord Hekmet, a spokesman for the Kurdish forces, told reporters that 25 of their troops have been killed since the battle to retake Mosul began and a "large number" had been wounded. Speaking through an interpreter, he said the peshmerga have had good coalition air support, but could use more military resources, especially armored vehicles.
Recent Fallen Grads
- COL Robert E. Lindquist USA (Retired), USMA1958: 21 Nov 1935 - 22 Apr 2017
- COL George C. McDowell USAF (Retired), USMA1937: 27 Aug 1913 - 22 Apr 2017
- LTC Harry N. White USA (Retired), USMA1960: 17 Aug 1938 - 21 Apr 2017
- Mr. Randall C. Robertson, USMA1975: 16 Jun 1953 - 21 Apr 2017
- COL Selwyn P. Rogers Jr USA (Retired), USMA1946: 11 Dec 1925 - 19 Apr 2017
- Mr. James A. Hubbard, USMA1977: 01 Jun 1954 - 17 Apr 2017
- COL Lou E. Bretzke USA (Retired), USMA1951: 06 Mar 1927 - 15 Apr 2017
- LTC James H. Harris USA (Retired), USMA1953: 03 Feb 1928 - 15 Apr 2017
- COL John C. Stratis USA (Retired), USMA1980: 28 Apr 1958 - 14 Apr 2017
- MAJ John A. Harrison USA (Retired), USMA1979: 06 Feb 1956 - 13 Apr 2017
- Mr. James P. Ryan, USMA1964: 14 Jun 1941 - 11 Apr 2017
- COL Michael P. Breithaupt USA (Retired), USMA1971: 11 Jun 1949 - 10 Apr 2017
- LTC Rupert W. Jernigan USA (Retired), USMA1945: 27 Jan 1923 - 09 Apr 2017
- Mr. John T. Goorley, USMA1963: 09 Aug 1940 - 09 Apr 2017
- Mr. Robert L. Dean Jr., USMA1953: 13 Oct 1929 - 09 Apr 2017
- LTC Benjamin L. Willis USA (Retired), USMA1961: 12 Jun 1938 - 09 Apr 2017
- Dr. Tom J. Vaughn Jr., USMA1963: 30 Mar 1941 - 09 Apr 2017
- Mr. John K. Houssels Jr., USMA1945: 11 Dec 1922 - 09 Apr 2017
- MG Darrie H. Richards USA (Retired), USMA1943JAN: 31 May 1921 - 08 Apr 2017
- Mr. Joal L.R. Davis, USMA1960: 26 Jun 1936 - 08 Apr 2017
- COL Bartley W. Furey USA (Retired), USMA1960: 03 Nov 1937 - 07 Apr 2017
- Honorable Ross W. Campbell Jr., USMA1945: 14 Feb 1923 - 06 Apr 2017
- COL John R. McLean USA (Retired), USMA1940: 06 Jan 1918 - 05 Apr 2017
- Mr. John J. Buckley Jr., USMA1948: 06 May 1925 - 01 Apr 2017
- Mr. Charles Decko Jr., USMA1960: 12 May 1937 - 31 Mar 2017
- COL Edward W. Samuell Jr. USA (Retired), USMA1944: 01 Aug 1923 - 30 Mar 2017
- LTC Benjamin R. Wilkerson USA (Retired), USMA1962: 09 Sep 1937 - 30 Mar 2017
- COL Roland R. Sullivan USA (Retired), USMA1953: 03 Apr 1929 - 30 Mar 2017
- Mr. Aaron N. Silver Jr., USMA1988: 13 Jan 1965 - 28 Mar 2017
- Cary Lynn Blood, USMA1989: 05 Dec 1963 - 28 Mar 2017