MESOP : ASHTON CARTER ARRIVEDIN IRAQ / Iraqi Forces Seize Strategic Airbase Near Mosul


Iraqi troops captured Qayara airbase on Saturday with air support from the U.S.-led coalition. The airbase is located 40 miles from Mosul and will be used as a staging ground for operations to retake the city. A team of U.S. advisors surveyed the facility on Sunday. Iraqi forces are now reinforcing the airbase’s defenses; the Islamic State still occupies the nearby town of Qayara and the military is concerned about an Islamic State counterattack.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter arrived in Iraq today for meetings with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and security officials.

He said Qayara and another base retaken by Iraqi troops at Makhmour would serve as logistical hubs as Iraqi forces continue to press Islamic State forces from the south and Kurdish Peshmerga from the north. Read all