- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. forces are likely to play a bigger role in the push to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants than they did in supporting Iraq’s retaking of Ramadi in December, senior defense officials said Monday.

“Will we do more to enable them as they go north? Yes, we fully expect to do that,” Carter told a Pentagon news conference.

He mentioned providing more logistics support for Iraqi ground operations and helping set up temporary bridges that allow Iraqi forces to move into the northern Iraqi city, which is situated on the Tigris River. The Islamic State captured Mosul nearly two years ago and has used it as its major stronghold in Iraq.

Carter said the Iraqi troops will take the lead role in the Mosul campaign, with the U.S. in support.

“We’re talking about more of the things that we did in Ramadi, but we are talking about additional things of the kind that we’ve offered previously but that weren’t necessary in the case of Ramadi but might well be helpful as Iraqi forces move north,” he said.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the operation to retake Mosul will be bigger than Ramadi.

“I, like the secretary, think we would do more in Mosul than Ramadi just because of the order of magnitude of the operation in Mosul would indicate to me that we would have more U.S. support in Mosul than we did in Ramadi,” Dunford said.

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