The US army may open new military bases in Iraq as the Arab country prepares to retake the northern city of Mosul from Daesh terrorists, a senior military official says. “There may be a situation in which there is another base that is opened or reopened from years past that would be used… as a fire-support base behind the front lines,” Rear Admiral Andrew Lewis said. The announcement by the vice-director for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff Operations on Wednesday came after US officials said they were considering to “greatly increase” the number of American special forces in Syria. The military surge at a time of major advances by Iraqi and Syrian armies against Takfiri militants has caught the attention of many observers. They are questioning US motivations and their refusal to send troops to stop Takfiri terrorists from overrunning Iraqi and Syrian cities at the start of their campaign to establish a "caliphate." The US troop surge comes as the Iraqi army is closing in on Mosul and Syrian forces are shifting their attention to Raqqah after liberating Palmyra, Shaddadah and other towns. Last month, the US army set up an outpost, initially known as the Fire Base Bell and currently renamed to the Kara Soar Counter Fire Complex, outside the town of Makhmour, southeast of Mosul. Initially, the Pentagon said that the nearly 200 Marines stationed there only provided security for Iraqi forces and US advisers at the nearby Iraqi base in Makhmour. However, the Marines were later firing illumination rounds purportedly to assist Iraqi troops locate militants, and also firing artillery rounds in support of troops advancing in several villages on the outskirts of Makhmour. Regarding the planned bases, Lewis also said, “Their mission is to provide fires and support of Iraqi forces, just like we do with airplanes, just it’s surface-to-surface fires [not] air-to-surface fires.” Iraqi armed forces began their offensive to recapture Mosul — the country’s second-largest city and the capital of the Nineveh Province — from Daesh in late March. Baghdad aims to retake the entire Mosul in 2016.