About 600 American troops will be deployed to Iraq to further enable local security forces as they prepare to retake the key Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the secretary said in anticipation of the Mosul fight, the U.S. and Iraqi governments have agreed that additional U.S. and coalition capabilities could help accelerate the campaign at this critical phase.
Carter said he and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended deployment of the additional troops to President Barack Obama to further enable Iraqi forces, and that the president authorized it with the support and approval of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Gearing Up for Mosul Offensive
The U.S. troops will work in close coordination with the Iraqi government to provide specific capabilities, such as logistics and maintenance support, and train, advise and assist teams for Iraqi security forces and Kurdish peshmerga for the upcoming Mosul operation. Expanded intelligence resources will be used to disrupt ISIL's terrorist network in Iraq and beyond, Carter said.
“The coalition to defeat ISIL continues to achieve results on the battlefield, and I congratulate Iraqi security forces on their recent progress, including the operation to free Sharqat,” he said. “The coalition will continue to increase the pressure on ISIL in Mosul and wherever it seeks refuge in Iraq.”