US President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment of up to 450 more US troops to Iraq to advise and assist local forces in an effort to reverse the recent gains of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Aljazeera has more:
Under the plan, the US will open a fifth training site in Iraq, with the goal of integrating Iraqi Security Forces and Sunni fighters. The immediate objective is to retake the city of Ramadi, seized by ISIL last month.
Obama made the decision at the request of Haider al-Abbadi, Iraq’s prime minister, and based on advice from Pentagon leaders, the White House said. The US troops will not be used in a combat role.
“These new advisers will work to build capacity of Iraqi forces, including local tribal fighters, to improve their ability to plan, lead, and conduct operations against ISIL in eastern Anbar under the command of the prime minister,” Josh Earnest, White House spokesperson, said.