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US Sets Up First All-American Fire Base in Iraq

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers huddle around Maj. Gen. Sirwan Barzani in Makhmur, Iraq. Makhmur is expected to serve as one of the staging points for Iraqi and Peshmerga forces in the advance against the Islamic State-controlled city of Mosul, March 8, 2016. The Iraqis are being supported by an all-American fire base.
US Sets Up First All-American Fire Base in Iraq
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The U.S. military has built the first all-American fire base in Iraq.

A fire base is an area in a war zone where artillery can be massed to provide firepower in support of other military units.

The fire base is near the town of Makhmur, in northern Iraq. About 200 U.S. Marines have been assigned to the base. Their mission is to protect American advisers and Iraqis who are at a nearby Iraqi military base.

An American spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren, said: “This is the first time that we’ve established a spot that’s only American.” Warren continued to say deploying the Marines to a U.S.-only base was “a tactical decision” made “because of space” restrictions.

The Iraqis are preparing an offensive to capture Mosul. The town has been occupied by the Islamic State for nearly two years.

The fire base is behind the front lines, and the American base has been attacked. Islamic State fighters fired small arms at the base Monday. Two IS fighters were killed. No Americans were wounded.

The arms exchange took place two days after U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Louis Cardin was killed at the base. IS fighters fired two rockets during that assault.

I’m Jim Dresbach.

Carla Babb wrote this story for VOA News. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English and Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

firepowern. the amount or strength of military weapons that can be used against an enemy

missionn. a specific military or naval task

tacticaladj. used for a specific plan that is created to achieve a particular goal in war

assaultn. a military attack