US to send 450 more troops to Iraq

US to send 450 more troops to Iraq

-NRN/Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment of 450 more U.S. troops to Iraq’s Sunni heartland to advise and assist fragile Iraqi forces.

U.S. officials hope that a strengthened American presence on the ground in Anbar will help the Iraqi military devise and carry out a counter-attack to retake the provincial capital Ramadi, which Islamic State insurgents seized last month in an onslaught that further exposed the shortcomings of the Iraqi army.

The U.S. advisers, who will be injected into the heart of one of the most hotly contested areas of the Islamic State campaign, will offer tactical advice to Iraqi officers on how to conduct their operations, the Pentagon said.

U.S. officials want to integrate them into the Iraqi army and reduce its reliance on Iran-backed Shi’ite militias who have also joined the fight against Islamic State.

President Obama decided on the new troop deployment in response to a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the White House said, after he two leaders met while attending the G7 summit in Germany earlier this week.

“To improve the capabilities and effectiveness of partners on the ground, the president authorized the deployment of up to 450 additional U.S. military personnel to train, advise, and assist Iraqi Security Forces at Taqaddum military base in eastern Anbar province,” the White House said in a statement.

The White House has also confirmed President Obama also ordered “the expedited delivery of essential equipment and materiel” to Iraqi forces, including Kurdish peshmerga troops and Sunni fighters operating under Iraqi command.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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