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Pentagon: U.S. Stepping Up Cyberattacks Against Islamic State

WASHINGTON -- Top Pentagon officials say the United States is stepping up cyberattacks against the Islamic State (IS) network in Syria and Iraq, and U.S. special forces unit are finally on the ground there as well.

U.S Defense Secretary Ash Carter said February 29 some of the cyber-techniques were new, and could end up overwhelming the group’s networks, forcing it to use older technology that’s easier to intercept.

"We don't want the enemy to know when, where, and how we're conducting cyber operations,” General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing.

Carter also said that an "expeditionary targeting force” is on the ground in Iraq, where it’s expected to step up operations against IS fighters there, as well as in neighboring Syria.

"We are working with the Iraqi forces to prepare [their] forces for the envelopment and ultimately the seizure of [the city of] Mosul," he said.

The estimated 200 U.S. troops who make up the force, plus another 50 in Syria, represent a small, but noteworthy increase in the U.S. military presence on the ground.