U.S. air mission in Iraq still focused on refugee aid

Those ground forces would include special operators capable of getting closer to Islamic State positions and directing the airstrikes in cooperation with Iraqi ground troops, such as Kurdish peshmerga, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly.


However, “there are no plans to expand the air campaign,” said Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “We are gripped by the immediacy of the crisis, and our focus right now is to provide immediate relief to those who are suffering,” he said.


During a news conference Monday, Mayville said any thought of using U.S. ground troops is “a little too speculative for me.” There are no current plans to use U.S. ground troops, he said.


President Obama announced Thursday that the United States would start air operations in Iraq. Subsequent comments from him and administration officials made the distinction between ground and combat troops.


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