Washington: Up to 1,300 additional troops, including nearly 1,000 soldiers will start to be deployed in Iraq, in late January, to help in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), the Pentagon said Friday.
“Their mission will be to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces,” Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby said, acoording to a Xinhua report.
This deployment will be part of the additional 1,500 troops that US President Barack Obama authorised in November, he said.
“What makes this (deployment) different is simply the geography,” Kirby explained.
According to a top US political website, The Hill, the troops will likely be allocated to four sites in Iraq where they will train, advise and assist the Iraqi forces.
The overall mission is designed around training 12 Iraqi brigades, including nine from the Iraqi security forces and three from the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters), Kirby said.
The IS militants, this year, mounted several attacks on Ramadi, one of the last major urban areas in the crucial Anbar province under Baghdad’s control, as it seeks to consolidate its grip on the Anbar area.
While the training mission is ongoing, the US military continues to conduct airstrikes at an appropriate pace and with an appropriate sense of precision and urgency, the spokesman said.
“It’s two-fold,” he said. “It’s to go after them where we know we can and we should, but also to support the Iraqi security forces on the ground.”