[pjw] NEWS: Marine dies at "firebase" set up for US combat in Iraq (CNN 3/20)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Mar 20 13:14:00 EDT 2016

So, just barely had we held our demonstration calling for "no more US wars 
in Iraq and Libya" when an American Marine was killed by ISIS rocket 
fire... while setting up a previously secret "firebase" for "limited 
ground combat operations." If you haven't yet contacted elected 
representatives to tell them "end the re-invasion of Iraq, bring all our 
troops (and contractors) home now!" this is a good time to do so.
dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

U.S. sets up firebase in Northern Iraq
    By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
    Updated 12:55 PM ET, Sun March 20, 2016

    (CNN)The Marine killed in an ISIS rocket attack in Iraq on Saturday was
    at the first American firebase that had only become operational a few
    days earlier CNN has learned.

    The existence of the firebase had not been made public. The Pentagon
    had planned to acknowledge the firebase this week, a defense official
    tells CNN.

    The rugged location for now has a "couple of hundred" Marines living in
    tents near Makhmour in northern Iraq. It's assumed ISIS observed the
    Marines moving into the area and saw them firing practice rounds with
    their howitzers, the official said.

    ISIS on Saturday fired two rockets from about 15 km away. One fell
    inside the base killing one Marine and wounding several others. The
    Marines returned fire with their artillery.

    The Pentagon has yet to formally acknowledge it has established its
    first U.S. fire base in Iraq in the current fight against ISIS for what
    the official said will eventually be a limited ground combat operation
    in support of the Iraqis.
    Read More

    The Marines will be using their field artillery guns in the coming
    weeks to help defend Iraqi troops as they move towards Mosul. For now,
    the artillery is to defend another nearby base where American troops
    are getting 5,000 Iraqi forces ready for the operation to retake Mosul.

    The Marines first began moving into the area just two weeks ago from
    their own base of operations aboard an amphibious assault ship the USS
    Kearsarge, the defense official told CNN.

    The Marines had finished setting up and testing their artillery just
    two or three days before the attack. There was a brief mention of a
    coalition fire base in a statement Saturday announcing the death of the
    Marine, but the official said the only troops there are American
    Marines and no other coalition forces.

    On Sunday, the coalition announced that in consultation with the
    government of Iraq, the U.S. "has assigned a detachment of U.S. Marines
    from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the support of Iraqi
    Security Force and Coalition ground operations. The detachment from the
    26th MEU will add to the Marines and Sailors currently in Iraq"
    supporting the effort against ISIS.

    The Marines have already named the location "Fire Base Bell." The U.S
    has similar artillery at two other large Iraqi bases, but Bell is the
    only known fire base. That terminology signifies this is a small remote
    location designed to use its artillery to support infantry tools at
    forward locations.

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