During a surprise trip to Baghdad, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the U.S. will deploy another 560 troops to Iraq -- bringing the total U.S. troop levels authorized for the country to 4,647, reports ABC News.
The additional troops will deploy in the coming days and weeks and will provide infrastructure and logistical support to the Qayyarah airfield, about 40 kilometers south of Mosul, as the Empire attempts to regain ground from ISIS.
According to the Department of Defense, President Obama approved the deployment of the additional U.S. troops upon Carter’s recommendation after consulting with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford; Gen. Joseph Votel of the U.S. Central Command; and the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland.
“These additional U.S. forces will bring unique capabilities to the campaign and provide critical enabler support to Iraqi forces at a key moment in the fight,” Carter said.
Last month, the Iraqi government recaptured the city of Fallujah after a five-week campaign. Fallujah was the first city taken by ISIS in January 2014.
After the retaking of Fallujah, the Iraqi government was able to set its sights on Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. However, ANC notes, American officials have cautioned that given current logistical shortfalls, an offensive is not likely this year.