Washington: President Barack Obama has authorised the military to send up to 1,500 additional personnel to Iraq for training and assistance of Iraqi forces with the aim to enforce fight against the Islamic State (IS), an official statement said Friday.
Obama has authoried Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to deploy to Iraq up to 1,500 additional US personnel over the coming months, in a non-combat role, to expand American military's advising and assisting mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces, Xinhua quoted John Kirby, press secretary for the US Department of Defence, as saying in a statement Friday.
Hagel made this recommendation to Obama based on the request of the Government of Iraq, US Central Command's assessment of Iraqi units, the progress Iraqi security forces have made in the field, and in concert with the development of a coalition campaign plan to defend key areas and go on the offensive against the IS, said Kirby.
US Central Command will establish two expeditionary advising and assisting operations centres, in locations outside of Baghdad, and Erbil, to provide support for the Iraqis at the brigade headquarters level and above, the official said.
These centres, the official added, would be supported by an appropriate array of force protection capabilities. It would also establish several sites across Iraq that would accommodate the training of 12 Iraqi brigades, specifically nine Iraqi army and three Peshmerga brigades.
These sites would be located in northern, western, and southern Iraq, he said, adding that coalition partners would join US personnel at these locations to help build Iraqi capacity and capability.