US to send more troops to Iraq, escalating war on Islamic State

April 18, 2016 17:34

BAGHDAD - The Obama administration will step up its military campaign against Islamic State by sending more troops to Iraq, where they will be placed closer to the front lines of the conflict to advise Iraqi forces.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the announcement on Monday during an unannounced visit to Baghdad, during which he met with US commanders, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi.

About 200 additional troops will be deployed, raising the number of US soldiers in Iraq to about 4,100, a senior US Defense official said.

The Pentagon will also provide up to $415 million to Kurdish peshmerga military units, as the Kurdish government struggles with a budget deficit.

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