The Pentagon is currently considering the deployment of up to 1,000 U.S. service members to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force for U.S.-backed fighters in Syria and Iraq, according to Reuters. The Trump administration is considering sending at least 1,000 American troops to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force in the war against ISIS, a White House spokesperson that spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity said.
Supporters of deploying the troops claim that the move would give military commanders on the ground more flexibility and allow them to respond faster on the battlefield. The proposed deployment comes as the U.S. and its allies push deeper into Syria and Iraq and prepare for unexpected challenges.
“This is about providing options,” said one U.S. official.
There are currently approximately 6,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Syria. It is believed that the additional troops would be deployed incrementally to avoid diplomatic or political consequences.
President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to make defeating the Islamic State one of the key goals of his presidency. The troop increase is expected to begin as U.S.-backed Arab and Kurdish forces attempt to isolate and reclaim the city of Raqqa, a key city for ISIS militants.
U.S. officials have denied plans for a major escalation or dramatic shift in a strategy for reclaiming the cities. It is unclear whether the troop increase proposal is supported by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at this time.