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U.S. to Send 275 More Soldiers to Iraq to Shore Up Mosul Efforts

Approximately 275 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division will head to northern Iraq as the military ratchets up the fight against ISIS in Mosul.
Image: Smoke rises over the city during clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, in Mosul
Smoke rises over the city during clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, in Mosul.KHALID AL-MOUSILY / Reuters

Two U.S. military officials tell NBC News that approximately 275 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division have been ordered to deploy to northern Iraq as the military ratchets up efforts to wrest ISIS fighters from Mosul.

The deployment of troops from airborne division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, was approved last week. The move is aimed at supporting the U.S. troops already in the region helping the Iraqi Security Forces.

The two companies and one route clearance platoon will leave for Iraq on Tuesday.

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This is a "temporary mission," one official said, but neither could say how long that would be or where the soldiers will be based.

There are 5,262 American troops authorized to be in Iraq, but soldiers who deploy on temporary orders are usually not included in those force management level numbers.

ISIS has occupied Iraq's second-largest city for more than two years, entrenching in buildings and tunnels.

Earlier this month, nearly 200 civilians were killed in a coalition airstrike in Mosul. Senior military officials are investigating the reports and United States Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed the Iraqi security forces had requested the aircraft’s assistance.