International SF in Mosul

    The battle for Mosul in Iraq is going on right now, being fought by Iraqi troops, Kurdish Peshmerga, and some Turkish elements against entrenched Daesh right now. However, there is a significant amount of international coalition SF groups that are helping these local forces call in air strikes, direct close air support, and otherwise facilitate assets that various nations are bringing to the table against Daesh.

    Of these SF forces, we have a relative newcomer to the direct action game, Marine Special Operations Command. Now, the command really bit their teeth in Afghanistan, but Iraq and Syria will be the first large conflict that MARSOC will participate in (Raiders have a number of smaller commitments all over the world, but none so large as Iraq and Afghanistan). Indeed, this presence is no secret if you have been following various defense publications

    The Marine Corps presence in Iraq also extends beyond conventional forces. Earlier this year, a Marine Corps colonel with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command took charge of the staff element for Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Iraq, marking the first time MARSOC had formed and deployed a full joint special operations task force staff. That task force, which operates out of an undisclosed location in country, oversees special operations troops from every service.

    Images of the SF group have been released via a number of news outlets, in addition to some well sighted forum posters.¬†MARSOC appears to be embedded with the Kurdish Peshmerga, rather than the Iraqi forces. Sources in Iraq have also said that the majority of U.S. lead airpower is being tasked out to helping the Kurds attack the city from the North East. A possible reason for this is that the Kurds really don’t have any air power, and need all the extra help they can get, whereas the Iraqi forces have at least some internal air assets.

    Cu_h2UHWYAA7K1v mosul iraq peshmerga forces soldiers

    Something else that we are seeing are MAT-Vs. These certainly are not Kurdish as the U.S. hasn’t given many of them out to our allies yet. All the MAT-Vs seen are equipped with .50 BMG M2 remote gun stations, where the gunner can select targets and fire from inside the vehicle. In addition, check out the JAV missiles strapped to the truck. I’m assuming that the oddly shaped antenna on the rear of the truck are satellite communications.


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    The SEAL teams seem to be present with the Kurds as well, as it looks to be them appearing with a number of Kurdish groups in their distinctive AOR1 DEVGRU camo pattern.

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    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]