Iraq requests more US troops ahead of Mosul battle

Abadi's office said the US government had agreed to the request.

Iraq requests more US troops ahead of Mosul battle

World Bulletin / News Desk

Iraq has asked Washington to deploy additional trainers and advisers as its forces prepare for the battle to retake Mosul from the ISIL group, the premier's office said Wednesday.

IS seized Mosul along with swathes of other territory in June 2014, but the country's forces have since regained significant ground from the extremists and are readying for a drive to retake Iraq's second city.

Iraq has requested "a final increase in the number of American trainers and advisers... to support the heroic Iraqi security forces in their impending battle to liberate Mosul," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said in a statement.

A US official said that Washington is prepared to send additional troops, but there has not yet been an announcement on when they would be deployed or how many more would be sent.

A US-led coalition is carrying out air strikes against IS in Iraq, and Washington has authorised the deployment of more than 4,600 military personnel to the country.

Most are in advisory or training roles, but some American forces have fought IS on the ground, and three members of the US military have been killed by the extremists in Iraq.

The US has repeatedly emphasised that the assistance it is providing to Iraq is at Baghdad's request, but such requests have generally not been publicised by the Iraqi government.

Abadi's spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said the announcement was made in this case to clarify what the US forces would be doing and head off accusations that they would be involved in combat.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Eylül 2016, 17:41