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Officials have suggested that any additional military assistance from the U.S. to Iraq is contingent on those political and diplomatic steps by the government.
One possibility, said Dempsey, would be to have U.S. forces provide more expanded advice and assistance to the Iraqi force.
He said military assessment teams looked at about 50 Iraqi brigades and a number of the Kurdish units and have a good idea which ones have appropriate training and equipment and have not been infiltrated by militia.
So far, Dempsey said the U.S. has not sought or received permission to put advisers into Iraqi brigades or headquarters units and accompany them into combat.
To date, U.S. forces have conducted a total of 96 airstrikes across Iraq. Of those, 62 have been around the Mosul Dam.
The strikes have helps to break the insurgents’ momentum, said Dempsey, and strip away some of the mythology that the Islamic State is impregnable or overwhelming.
Dempsey is on his way to Afghanistan to attend a change of command ceremony Tuesday. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford is stepping down as the top commander there; Army Gen. John Campbell will take over.
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