US to deploy 450 more military trainers to Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, June 11, 2015
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imgUS President Barack Obama on June 10 approved the deployment of 450 more US military trainers to Iraq, a cautious bid to reverse gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

The White House said the forces will join an already 3,100-strong mission to “train, advise and assist” the Iraqi army as well as Sunni tribal fighters.

The new contingent will focus on efforts to wrest back control of provincial capital Ramadi.

ISIL seized the predominately Sunni city near Baghdad in May, punching a giant hole in Obama’s strategy to “defeat and degrade” the jihadist group.

Obama has ruled out putting combat troops on the ground, fearing it may re-entangle US forces in a war he fought hard to end.

Instead his administration has offered air support, arms and training to an amalgam of disparate Iraqi forces.

In addition to extra trainers, the White House announced there will also be “expedited delivery of essential equipment and material” for those tribal and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters — in coordination with the central government in Baghdad.

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