US Troops Joins Firefight after Official Combat Operations Ended

Twelve soldiers were killed on Sunday after  Militants launched an assault on a Iraq Military headquarters in Baghdad. From AP via MyWayNews:

It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting.

The attack also made plain the kind of lapses in security that have left Iraqis wary of the U.S. drawdown and distrustful of the ability of Iraqi forces now taking up ultimate responsibility for protecting the country.

Sunday’s hour-long assault was the second in as many weeks on the facility, the headquarters for the Iraqi Army’s 11th Division, pointing to the failure of Iraqi forces to plug even the most obvious holes in their security.

Two of the four attackers even managed to fight their way inside the compound and were only killed after running out of ammunition and detonating explosives belts they were wearing.

The American troops who joined the fight and provided cover fire for Iraqi soldiers pursuing the attackers were based at the compound to train Iraqi forces, said U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Bloom. Iraqi forces also requested help from U.S. helicopters, drones and explosives experts, he said. No American troops were hurt, Bloom said.

Under an agreement between the two countries, Iraq can still call on American forces to assist in combat and U.S. troops can defend themselves if attacked.

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