Written by Staff Writer
08 Nov, 2014 | 7:17 am
The US is to send 1,500 more non-combat troops to Iraq to boost Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State (IS) militants, the White House says.
The Pentagon said the troops would train and assist Iraqi forces. President Barack Obama authorised the deployment following a request from Iraq’s government, the Pentagon added.
IS militants control large areas of Iraq and Syria but have been targeted by hundreds of air strikes by a US-led coalition since August.
The 1,500 additional US troops will join several hundred military advisers that are already in Iraq to assist the country’s army.
A statement from the Pentagon said the troops would be establishing several sites to train nine Iraqi army and three Kurdish Peshmerga brigades.The US military would also be setting up two “advise and assist operations centres” outside Baghdad and the northern city of Irbil, the statement added.
“US troops will not be in combat, but they will be better positioned to support Iraqi security forces as they take the fight” to IS, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
He said President Obama would also be asking Congress for $5.6bn (£3.5bn) to support the ongoing operations against IS fighters in both Iraq and Syria. The announcement came hours after Mr Obama met congressional leaders in Washington for the first time after the Republicans won control of the Senate in Tuesday’s elections.
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