8 Nov 2014

US to send 1500 more troops to Iraq

10:46 am on 8 November 2014

US President Barack Obama is authorising his military to deploy up to 1500 additional troops to help train and advise Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State (IS) militants.

US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama Photo: REUTERS

The White House will ask Congress for $US5.6 billion for the operations in Iraq and Syria, which will include over $2 billion for the new training.

IS militants control large areas of Iraq and Syria but have been targeted by hundreds of air strikes by a US-led coalition since August.

The 1500 additional US troops will join several hundred military advisors already in Iraq to assist the national army, the BBC reported.

A statement from the Pentagon said the troops would be establishing several sites across Iraq to train nine Iraqi army and three Kurdish Peshmerga brigades.

The US military would also be setting up two "advise and assist operations centres" outside Baghdad and Irbil, the statement added.

"US troops will not be in combat, but they will be better positioned to support Iraqi security forces as they take the fight to [IS]," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

The Pentagon said President Obama authorised the new deployment following a request from Iraq's government.

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