World Bulletin / News Desk
The Obama administration is preparing a plan to set up a new military base in Iraq's Anbar province and send several hundred additional trainers and advisers to help bolster Iraqi forces that have struggled in the fight against ISIL there, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama could give final approval as early as Wednesday to expand the U.S. military contingent in Iraq, a source close to the discussions said, marking the first significant adjustment in his strategy since the insurgents seized Anbar's capital Ramadi last month.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed hope that a even a modestly beefed-up U.S. presence could help Iraq forces plan and carry out a counterattack to retake Ramadi.
But many critics have said previously that the current 3,100-strong American contingent of trainers and advisers is far from enough to turn the tide of battle.
Obama is expected to stick to his stance against sending American troops into combat or even close to the front lines, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But increased U.S. numbers in Iraq's volatile Sunni heartland raises could mean running greater risks.
The proposed build-up comes as Obama's anti-ISIL policy faces mounting criticism at home and abroad. U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have made only halting progress against ISIL members who seized about a third of Iraq over the past year in a brutal campaign marked by mass killings and beheadings.
Obama said on Monday the United States did not yet have a "complete strategy" for training Iraqi security forces to reconquer land lost to ISIL fighters.Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Haziran 2015, 11:44