WASHINGTON, Nov 8 – President Barack Obama is sending up to 1,500 more soldiers to Iraq to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight ISIS, in a deployment that would almost double the total number of American troops there to 2,900. The White House said in a statement that it will also ask Congress for another $5.6 billion to fund the fight against ISIS.
The troops will not have a combat role, and will operate from bases outside Baghdad and Erbil. To date, Anbar province and Taji district have been considered as two likely locations for operations centers outside of Baghdad and Erbil. CNN reported last week that the military was preparing plans to deploy U.S. advisers to Anbar, much of which is under the control of ISIS.
“The President took these decisions at the request of the Iraqi Government and upon the recommendation of Secretary Hagel and his military commanders based upon the assessed needs of the Iraqi Security Forces,” the statement said. “We believe this request is an opportunity for Congress and this Administration to work together to provide the additional resources needed to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL and I look forward to working with Congress to secure this funding,” said Shaun Donovan, Obama’s budget director.