US soldier dressed in Iraqi fatigues photographed in Mosul12 January, 2017
A US soldier fighting alongside Iraqi special forces has been photographed in the flashpoint city of Mosul dressed in Iraqi military uniform.
A cameraman from The New Arab captured the picture on Wednesday in east Mosul. The soldier was seen holding a video camera and dressed in the black fatigues and helmet of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service [CTS].
An Iraqi military officer told The New Arab that US troops were stationed at a headquarter in the city's al-Zuhour district close to the ongoing fighting against IS militants.
"US forces have become pivotal to any advances made by the Iraqi military and CTS inside Mosul," the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
"The US troops are a security precaution, however, there are members of the joint operations command who do not want them there," he added.
Tens of thousands of troops launched a huge offensive to retake Mosul, Islamic States' last major bastion in Iraq, and areas around it on October 17.
On Wednesday, The New Arab reported that recent advances in the south-east of the city have been supported by US ground forces, with the 101st Airborne having entered the city in recent weeks, and been caught up in fighting close to the al-Salam hospital.
This marked the first time conventional US forces have been involved in combat operations inside the city during this offensive.
The gains come just a day after reports that clashes had broken out between IS' foreign and Iraqi fighters.
The clashes were reported to have come after foreign fighters refused to allow Iraqi families to flee front lines in the east of the city to western Mosul.
Iraqi forces have retaken at least 80 percent of east Mosul from IS, the spokesman of the special forces spearheading the campaign said on Wednesday.
The initial phase of the offensive saw a variety of forces retake significant swathes of land in little time but the going has been tough inside the city itself.
After a lull in operations, the CTS and other forces stepped up their coordination and, with increased air and advisory support from a US-led coalition, launched a fresh push just before the New Year.
Last year, photos emerged of US special forces dressed in Kurdish fatigues, fighting alongside the Kurdish-Syrian People's Protection Units [YPG] during its offensive in Syria's Raqqa province.