A senior U.S. military officer says the Pentagon will consider opening more small outposts that would provide artillery support and other aid to Iraqi forces as they prepare to retake the northern city of Mosul.

Rear. Adm. Andrew Lewis tells reporters Wednesday there may be situations where the U.S. would either open a base or reopen one that was used in the earlier Iraq war. He says the base would be behind the front lines, and would be used the way U.S. Marines are operating out of what is known as Fire Base Bell.

Fewer than 200 Marines are at Fire Base Bell outside Makhmour. They have provided targeting assistance and artillery fire for the Iraqis, in a recent expansion of the U.S. combat role in Iraq.