Gen. Martin Dempsey Opens Door to Combat Role for U.S. Forces in Iraq

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Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation’s highest-ranking general, said Thursday that he is considering recommending that American troops fight alongside Iraqi forces to retake the city of Mosul or border areas with Syria from ISIS militants.

Sending U.S. troops into such an operation in Iraq would require orders from President Barack Obama, who has pledged that he will not send American forces into combat there.

In testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, Dempsey said: “I’m not predicting at this point that I would recommend that those (Iraqi) forces in Mosul and along the border would need to be accompanied by U.S. forces, but we’re certainly considering it.”

Dempsey said something similar on Sept. 16, when he told a Senate committee that he would recommend sending U.S. forces into a combat role alongside Iraqis against ISIS if he believed it was necessary.

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— Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube

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