Obama authorizes 1,500 additional US troops for deployment to Iraq

Soldiers to serve "in a non-combat role, to expand our advise and assist mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces," the Pentagon announced on Friday.

November 7, 2014 23:30
1 minute read.
Iraqi Shi'ite fighter

Shi'ite fighters participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON - The United States will send 1,500 additional troops to Iraq to serve "in a non-combat role, to expand our advise and assist mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces," the Pentagon announced on Friday.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel "made this recommendation to President Barack Obama based on the request of the government of Iraq" and on "US Central Command's assessment of Iraqi units," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The deployment would roughly double the number already there to advise and retrain Iraqi forces battling Islamic State militants, US officials said on Friday.

The United States has about 1,400 troops in Iraq, slightly below a previous limit of 1,600.

The Pentagon said it planned to establish several sites across the country to train nine Iraqi army brigades and three brigades of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. They will be set up in northern, western and southern Iraq.

The U.S. military would also establish "advise and assist" operations centers, adding to similar centers already set up in Baghdad and Arbil.

Alarmed by the advance of Islamic State militants across Iraq, Obama began sending non-combatant troops back to Iraq in the summer for the first time since US forces withdrew from the country in 2011.

One US military official said one location military advisors would head to soon was western Anbar province, which borders Syria and where Islamic State fighters are still on the offensive.

Iraq's main military divisions in Anbar - the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and twelfth - have been badly damaged. At least 6,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed through June and double that number has deserted, say medical and diplomatic sources.

The announcement came the same day that Obama met members of Congress at the White House, where he updated them on the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and in Syria.

The White House will ask Congress for $5.6 billion for the operations in Iraq and Syria, which includes $1.6 billion for the new "Iraq Train and Equip Fund," the White House Office of Management and Budget said.

Obama has launched air strikes against Islamic State targets in both Syria and Iraq, but he has ruled out sending ground troops into combat.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Related Content

August 17, 2018
German Jewish council urges end of Iran-Germany trade