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Over 2000 U.S. soldiers arrive in Iraq ahead of anti-ISIS offensive

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Troops are set to back the Iraqi forces in an upcoming offensive to dislodge ISIS in Anbar’s western town of Qaem and areas around the military base. U.S.-backed Iraqi forces currently control over one third of western Mosul and are pushing deeper into the city, encountering fierce counter-attacks from the ultra-hardline group that has slowed progress. The assault on Mosul, the jihadists’ last major stronghold in Iraq, was launched by a 100,000-strong alliance of local forces on Oct. 17 that has become the biggest military operation in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. The offensive to recapture west Mosul started three weeks ago.

Albanian Defense Minister announces initiative to deploy troops to Iraq

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The Albanian government has plans to deploy troops to Iraq as part of the counter-Islamic State  efforts, the Albanian Defense Minister announced on Monday: “We are talking about a voluntary mission in which Albania has helped already in different ways, but not with a military presence”, the Albanian Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli  said, being quoted by Balkans Insight. The initiative is reportedly in response to a request by the Trump administration to assist the global anti-ISIS coalition. “We are going to bring to parliament very soon a draft law to open the way to the presence of [Albanian] soldiers in the global coalition against ISIS”, Kodheli said.

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