- Title: U.S. troops in Iraq celebrate Thanksgiving with football, feast
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: QAYYARA WEST AIRFIELD BASE, SOUTH MOSUL, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) HELICOPTER FLYING OVER GROUP OF U.S. TROOPS PLAYING FOOTBALL AT AIRFIELD BASE VARIOUS OF U.S. TROOPS PLAYING FOOTBALL VARIOUS OF COOKIES ON TABLE / U.S. TROOPS GATHERING INSIDE TENT WHERE FEAST IS STORED (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CAPTAIN RECTOR (NO FIRST NAME GIVEN), OF THE COMMANDING FORCE OF THE COMPANY, SAYING: "So it's Thanksgiving today. It's a very big American holiday, so currently we are getting ready and doing the final preparations for the meal." VARIOUS OF U.S. TROOPS QUEUING TO BE ADMITTED TO CELEBRATIONS HALL FOR THANKSGIVING MEAL VARIOUS OF THANKSGIVING MEAL BEING SERVED / U.S. SERVICE MEMBERS HOLDING FOOD TRAYS TROOP HAVING THANKSGIVING MEAL INSIDE TENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SPECIALIST FIRDAISI (NO FIRST NAME GIVEN), WITH RCM CHARLIE TROOPS, SAYING: "I feel good. You know, we have a family right here. We've all deployed together, we've all been here, so in an environment like this everybody kind of comes together, so we're like our own little family here. I mean, it's good to be back home, but I don't mind." SERVICE MEMBER HAVING THANKSGIVING MEAL HELICOPTERS FLYING OVER BASE VARIOUS OF U.S. TROOPS PLAYING FOOTBALL
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 15:45
- Keywords: Thanksgiving Mosul American troops Iraq turkey meal celebration USA football
- Location: QAYYARA WEST AIRFIELD BASE, SOUTH MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: QAYYARA WEST AIRFIELD BASE, SOUTH MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00159T1B9J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: American troops based south of the Islamic State-held city of Mosul celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday (November 24) with a feast and football.
U.S. forces are staying at Iraq's Qayyara West airfield, about 40 miles (60 km) from Mosul. Iraqi forces recaptured the base from Islamic State militants in July and have built into a logistics hub to support their offensive into the northern city.
Other U.S. troops are deployed to Ain al Asad air base in western Iraq, where hundreds of U.S. personnel have been training Iraqi army forces.
At Qayyara base, the troops enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast with turkey along with beef tenderloin, Cornish hens, shrimp, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin, apple and pecan pies, non-alcoholic beverages, and eggnog.
"I feel good. You know, we have a family right here. We've all deployed together, we've all been here, so in an environment like this everybody kind of comes together, so we're like our own little family here. I mean, it's good to be back home, but I don't mind," said one of the U.S. troops enjoying the Thanksgiving meal at the airfield.
Others relaxed by playing a game of American football in the open field.
The Qayyara West airfield is the main U.S. hub to support Iraqi-led operations to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State. There are about 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq but the U.S. military has not disclosed the number of personnel at the airfield.
The offensive to take Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State control in either Iraq or Syria, is turning into the biggest battle in Iraq's turbulent history since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
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