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Iraq: U.S. Troops Join Mosul Assault as Thousands Flee

HeadlinesJan 05, 2017
H11 mosul

In Iraq, the United Nations is warning that over 13,000 civilians have fled Mosul over the last five days, after a U.S.-led coalition ramped up its campaign to retake the city from ISIS. The commander of the assault, U.S. Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, said he believes his forces might kill or capture ISIS leaders, but he’s unsure whether that includes the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend: "I am sure there are some senior leaders in Mosul still. We would have leaders here controlling this very important battle for them. They do, too. As far as Baghadadi is, I have no idea where Baghdadi is. If you get a hint on where Baghdadi is, please let me know, so I can kill him."

A military spokesperson said Wednesday the number of U.S. troops taking part in fighting around Mosul had doubled in recent weeks to 450. The U.S. currently has more than 5,000 troops in Iraq.

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