US troops share base with Shi’ite gunmen

By Andrew Tilghman

The 450 U.S. troops who are settling into their new outpost at Iraq’s Taqaddum Air Base are sharing the facility with some Shiite militiamen — but only a few.

Not long ago, Taqaddum was home to a large contingent of Shiite militia fighters, some of them likely linked to groups that were targeting U.S. troops in combat operations a decade ago.

But that changed after American military commanders recently identified Taqaddum, a sprawling base in the heart of Anbar province, as a good location for a new forward operating base for about 450 U.S. troops who will help support the Iraqis’ fight against the Sunni extremist group known as the Islamic State group.

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