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US to Send Additional Military Trainers to Iraq: Defense Department

Sputnik News

02:06 07.01.2015

Pentagon press secretary said that additional US trainers will arrive in Iraq by the end of the month to help build the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.

WASHINGTON, January 7 (Sputnik) – Additional US trainers will arrive in Iraq by the end of the month to help build the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

"I think you'll start to see flowing into Iraq before the end of this month additional trainers for that mission," Kirby told reporters Tuesday.

The additional personnel will join over 400 trainers already working in Iraq as part of a limited "train, advise and equip mission" that is focused on developing twelve total brigades, nine Iraqi and three Kurdish, he added.

The spokesman said that he could not give an exact number of how many new troops would be sent.

Kirby also noted that the mission is not aimed at building the Iraq army "from the ground up," but enhancing capabilities to defend the country against the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS).

"This isn't about rebuilding the Iraqi army. It's about trying to make more professional, make more capable, make more competent on the battlefield those units that are there and that are in the fight," Kirby explained.

In November, US President Barack Obama approved the deployment of 1,500 additional US personnel in a non-combat role to train and assist Iraqi forces.

A US-led coalition has also been conducting an air campaign against IS in Iraq since August and in Syria since September. IS militants, known for their brutal tactics, have seized vast areas in both countries and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories under their control.

Sputnik



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