A Yellow Dog waves a green flag as a French Navy Rafale fighter jet prepare to take off from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Gulf on February 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ
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About 800 Iraqi forces backed by U.S. warplanes are waging a battle to retake the western town of Al-Baghdadi from ISIS jihadis, a U.S. military commander said Monday.The clashes came as new U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter convened an extraordinary war council on Iraq's doorstep six days after taking office, gathering military and diplomatic leaders to discuss the Obama administration's oft-criticized strategy for countering ISIS. Terry, who is headquartered in Kuwait, said that while the ISIS militants are under mounting pressure, the Iraqi army was improving.Iraqi army and commando units, as well as tribal fighters, were currently carrying out an operation to retake the small town of Al-Baghdadi which ISIS had seized about a week ago, according to Terry.The town is located near the Iraqi army's Al-Asad base, where 300 U.S. troops are stationed to advise and train local forces.Coalition warplanes have carried out about 10 "precision strikes" against ISIS in recent days to support the Iraqi operation near Al-Baghdadi, Terry said.
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