We can now confirm that the U.S. military is sending approximately 200 troops to Iraq to help fight ISIS. Included in these forces will be additional special operations forces, who are there to train and advise the struggling Iraqi military and government.
From NBC News:
The financially strapped Iraqis have also accepted America’s offer of Apache attack helicopters and an additional HIMARS rocket system as they prepare to try to retake the city of Mosul from the terror group, Carter said. The United States will also contribute $415 million to the Peshmerga, a Kurdish military group.
“The Iraqis are still in the lead. That doesn’t change,” Carter told Nightly News anchor Lester Holt. “Americans are at risk today every single day here. As secretary of defense, I take that more seriously than anything else. I want our troops to be effective, but I want them also to be as safe as possible consistent with that.”
Carter added: “But it’s very important to do this, because we have to and we will defeat ISIL, but we need to get that done as soon as possible and that means being more aggressive in the moves we make.”
The additional personnel — Carter called them advisers — will boost the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 4,087, a senior U.S. military official said.
The announcement came as Carter visited Iraq as part of a swing through the Middle East in which he also asked allies in the region to help in the effort to rebuild parts of Iraq destroyed during the war with ISIS.
Carter said the Mosul effort will bring U.S. troops “closer to the action” by remaining close to Iraqi forces as they advance toward the city.
“These additions are consistent with our overall strategic approach, which is to enable ISF, not to substitute for them,” Carter said, referring to Iraqi security forces.
What impact, if any, will these additional forces have on the fight against ISIS? Is it too late? Share your thoughts below!