US sends more troops to Iraq

(VOVworld)- The US will deploy more than 200 troops and Apache helicopters to Iraq as part of operations against jihadist group Islamic State, according to US defense officials.
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A U.S. Army Apache helicopter © Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters

The additional troops will bring the US solider level in Iraq to more than 4,000.  Most of the additional troops will be US Army special forces. The rest will include teams of trainers and advisers to be embedded with Iraqi security forces fighting Islamic State, meaning US advisers will be stationed near the battlefront as Iraqi units move toward Mosul. Iraq is attempting to retake Mosul, the nation's second-largest city, from Islamic State control. The Pentagon also said will give $415 million to Kurdish peshmerga units in their efforts against IS in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish forces have surrounded Mosul from the north, east, and west. The decision was made during US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s surprise visit to Iraq. On Monday, Secretary Carter will meet with top US military commanders in Iraq as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khalid Al-Obeidi. Prior to Iraq, Secretary Carter visited the United Arab Emirates, the first leg of his Gulf tour, which intends to gain support for the fight against IS in Iraq and Syria.