U.S. to send specialized commando force to Iraq

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The Pentagon will send an expeditionary force of special operators to Iraq to assist government and Kurdish forces in conducting raids and gathering intelligence against the Islamic State, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford had been summoned before the panel amid concerns by lawmakers that the Obama administration's approach to fighting the extremist group is not tough enough, especially in light of deadly terrorist attacks Nov. 13 in Paris.

"I agree with you. We do need greater effort. We're applying greater effort," Carter told panel Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas. "We're looking for and finding new opportunities for actionable effort every day."

The special operators will work with Iraqi troops to build their capacity and their raids would focus on defending Iraq's borders, Carter said.

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