On Saturday morning Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin, a 27-year old artilleryman, was killed by a ISIS rocket attack on a previously secret forward fire support base in northern Iraq. Eight other marines were wounded by the onslaught. The news comes as the long awaited and extremely high-stakes “Mosul Offensive” is slowly taking shape. The fact that Marines were forward-deployed to a fire base in northern Iraq had not been previously disclosed by the Pentagon. What is known is that American advisers and about 5,000 Iraqi soldiers and their equipment are massing in the farming village of Makhmour, about 40 miles south of Mosul, in preparation for the long-awaited attempt to take back the city from ISIS control. The base is described as in an austere location with a “couple hundred” Marines living in tents, according to CNN’s sources. The site is said to be an artillery fire base setup to support allied forces heading toward Mosul and to protect Makhmour and the base, known as the Nineveh Operations Center, from ISIS attack. Makhmour is not known to be a highly secure location in the first place. ISIS fired artillery shells filled at least partially with mustard gas last year… Read full this story
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