US

Carter: US will use Iraq city as base to retake Mosul

  • People grieve during a symbolic funeral for the victims of a massive truck bombing last Sunday that killed at least 186 people and was claimed by the Islamic State group, in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

    People grieve during a symbolic funeral for the victims of a massive truck bombing last Sunday that killed at least 186 people and was claimed by the Islamic State group, in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, June 30, 2016 file photo, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter listens to a reporter's question as he speaks during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington. U.S. and coalition forces will use the newly retaken air base in Qayara as a staging hub, as Iraqi security forces move forward in the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants, Carter said Monday, July 11, as he arrived in Iraq. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, June 30, 2016 file photo, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter listens to a reporter's question as he speaks during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington. U.S. and coalition forces will use the newly retaken air base in Qayara as a staging hub, as Iraqi security forces move forward in the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants, Carter said Monday, July 11, as he arrived in Iraq. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this Thursday, June 30, 2016 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. As Carter arrived in Iraq, Monday, July 11, 2016, he said U.S. and coalition forces will use the newly retaken air base in Qayara as a staging hub as Iraqi security forces move closer to the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants. Carter landed in Baghdad on an unannounced visit and says U.S. advisers are prepared to accompany Iraqi battalions, if needed, as those units move closer to the fight for Mosul. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

    FILE -- In this Thursday, June 30, 2016 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. As Carter arrived in Iraq, Monday, July 11, 2016, he said U.S. and coalition forces will use the newly retaken air base in Qayara as a staging hub as Iraqi security forces move closer to the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants. Carter landed in Baghdad on an unannounced visit and says U.S. advisers are prepared to accompany Iraqi battalions, if needed, as those units move closer to the fight for Mosul. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)  (The Associated Press)

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has arrived in Iraq, saying U.S. and coalition forces will use the newly retaken air base in Qayara (kee-AH'-rah) as a staging hub, as Iraqi security forces move closer to the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants.

Carter, in an unannounced visit, says U.S. advisers are prepared to accompany Iraqi battalions, if needed, as they move toward Mosul.

A senior defense official says it's unclear when U.S. advisers would begin accompanying the battalions, but it could be in the coming weeks and months. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, so spoke anonymously.

Carter laid out the U.S. vision for Qayara for the first time, describing its recapture as a key strategic victory.