President Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of up to 1,500 more U.S. troops for Iraq to advise and train in an effort to combat Islamic State. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The U.S. wants to bolster efforts to combat Islamic State militants in Iraq. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY , SAYING: "The commander in chief has authorized Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to deploy to Iraq up to 1,500 additional U.S. personnel over the coming months, in a non-combat role, to expand our advise and assist mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces." The Pentagon said it planned to establish several sites across the country to train nine Iraqi army brigades and three brigades of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. Alarmed by the advance of Islamic State militants across Iraq, President Barack Obama began sending non-combatant troops back to Iraq in the summer for the first time since U.S. forces withdrew from the country in 2011. The White House will ask Congress for $5.6 billion for the operations in Iraq and Syria, which includes $1.6 billion for the new "Iraq Train and Equip Fund," the White House Office of Management and Budget said. Obama has launched air strikes against Islamic State targets in both Syria and Iraq, but he has ruled out sending ground troops into combat