The US has expanded its miliary presence on the Syria-Iraq border, according to recent media reports Halal Khalo, Deputy Mayor of Sinjar, said:
“15 military vehicles of US troops arrived on top of Mount Singhal and stationed themselves near Mira peak on the mountain.”
The Sinjar Governor later confirmed the US was preparing to establish a military base on the mountain, which constitutes a strategic area as its position dominates the Syrian border.
He told local media the US would use the new base to fight off Iran-backed Shia militias, preventing them “from controlling the mountain or blocking the area so it becomes an Iranian corridor to Syria, which could eventually lead to a regional war”.
He also claimed the presence of US troops on Mount Sinjar “brings hope for stability” to the thousands of displaced members of the Kurdish Ezidi religious minority, which have not been allowed to return home.
However, Iraqi General Najim al-Jubour has rejected such claims.
The General explained: “US advisers are in Mosul, Qayyarah, and other parts of the Nineveh Province.
“But they are deployed there on an everyday basis.
“They had told us we should take precautionary measures at the border.”
Mr al-Jubouri claimed the information about a new US base came from unreliable sources and that Iraqi military forces were mobilised to Mount Sinjar to shield the Syria-Iraq border from ISIS.
The General added: “The involvement of the US military in supporting Iraqi forces in securing the border does not go beyond its scope, which is to provide military advice.”
The US and its allies have been bombarding ISIS positions inside Syria since September 2014 without a UN mandate after Russia blocked the move.
Russian President Vladimir Putin supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has used its security council veto powers 11 times to block action targeting its ally Syria.
Shia armed groups, known as the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU), were organised to fight ISIS after it captured large areas of Iraq in 2014.
In March, the Iraqi prime minister signed a decree formally installing the PMF as a national security force.
The border itself is a battleground against ISIS, with the US and its allies hoping to finally defeat the jihadists However, the issue of US military presence is a contentious one in Iraq.
In March, the Iraqi parliament demanded that the government set a clear timeline for the withdrawal of US forces.
Several days later, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad and confirmed that NATO forces are staying "because Iraq wants us to be here.