US deploys adviser to Iraq

The United States is prepared to deploy advisers and attack helicopters if requested by Iraq to help it “finish the job” of retaking the city of Ramadi from Islamic State, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday. Carter’s remarks were the latest sign of U.S. preparations to intensify its military campaign against the group, which controls wide swaths of Iraq and Syria and has orchestrated and inspired attacks abroad. Islamic State captured Ramadi, a provincial capital just a short drive west of Baghdad, in May in its biggest conquest since last year. Retaking it would be a major victory for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Carter, speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, said it has taken a “frustratingly long time” for Iraqi security forces to claw back territory. But he pointed to significant gains, including recapturing the Anbar Operations Center on the northern bank of the Euphrates River in the past 24 hours”.

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