The Pentagon announced in a statement on Friday that President Barack Obama has approved sending 1500 additional troops will be deployed to Iraq in order to advise and train Iraqi and Kurdish forces battling ISIS militants.
A Pentagon official said: “The commander in chief has authorized Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to deploy to Iraq up to 1,500 additional U.S. personnel over the coming months, in a non-combat role, to expand our advise and assist mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces.”
Obama has also requested an additional 5.6 billion USD for the war against ISIS to help cover the additional deployments.
American military personnel will be sent to Iraqi training bases and headquarters facilities not only in Baghdad, but in the country’s north, west and south as well as Erbil, Kurdish regional capital. “U.S. Central Command will establish several sites across Iraq that will accommodate the training of 12 Iraqi brigades, specifically nine Iraqi army and three Peshmerga brigades,” according to the same statement.
The Pentagon noted that the US troops were requested by the Iraqi government.
The US troops currently in Iraq are helping with intelligence gathering and airstrikes against the “Islamic State”, which took control over large parts of Iraq and Syria. American troops have been launching airstrikes on ISIS militants and facilities for weeks and have been joined by other countries such as France, Canada and the UK in an effort to fight ISIS.
Last week, Iraqi forces have regained control of the town Jurf Al Sakher. ISIS also lost Mahmoudiyah, Rabia and Zumar, towns near the Syrian border. Iraqi troops have also managed to maintain control of the country’s largest oil refinery, despite numerous attempts by the Islamic state to capture it.
The Moroccan Times.