Obama Administration: Sending Hundreds Of Troops To Iraq Is A “Possibility”
The Obama administration has not completely ruled out the possibility of sending hundreds of troops to help advise, train and assist for an assault on ISIS stronghold, Mosul in Iraq in the fall.
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According to a senior official, the Obama administration is “not ruling out the possibility.” Several meetings have been held by officials to determine if the troops are needed.
A potential assault could happen in the fall, but there are several meetings between U.S. and Iraqi officials to discuss a plan and a potential inclusion of several hundred U.S troops for the assault.
British Army Maj. Gen. Doug Chalmers, deputy commander for strategy in the U.S.-led coalition, said in a news briefing for Pentagon reporters that Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, “engaged with dialogue up through his chain of command where he thinks there might be an area where we might require an increase in capability, and I use that word ‘capability’ because it can be a rash of forms.”
Chalmers added that the level of troops used for the potential assault is uncertain and is constantly being reviewed by the military. Besides advising, assisting and training Iraqi troops, American troops could deal with reconnaissance, air support and surveillance.
Iraqi forces are retaking towns and villages outside of Mosul in order to isolate the city.
The number of troops in Iraq right now are roughly 3,600 with the limit in the country beingg 4,087. McFarland has the ability to request more than 400 troops who could help with the assault without the approval of President Obama.
Officials said that Defense Secretary Ash Carter is likely to approve any requests for additional troops if he can demonstrate that there are more troops needed to fight against ISIS.