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Kerry: Iraq Briefed on US Plan to Strike at Heart of IS

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KERRY

WASHINGTON:(APS)Dec2,2015-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday the Iraqi government was briefed in advance of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s announcement that teams of U.S. special operators could be in Iraq in a matter of weeks.

The “specialized expeditionary targeting force” will consist of approximately 200 special forces personnel, according to officials familiar with the plans aimed at striking the brain trust and nervous system of the Islamic State terror group.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi praised his forces in a statement Tuesday, and said that while Iraq welcomes support from its international partners, it does not need foreign combat troops on the ground.

Abadi said that kind of support and special operations must be done with the government’s approval and in coordination with Iraqi forces.

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