BAGHDAD, Nov. 21 (UPI) — The next wave of 1,500 extra American troops to train and advise Iraqi forces in their continuing battle against the Islamic State will be sent abroad within the next few weeks, says the Pentagon.
They’re expected to focus help on volunteers from Iraq’s Sunni tribes who have been joining training centers at army bases.
Pentagon officials said they hoped further personnel from other countries would soon be joining the effort as well.
The Pentagon still needs funding approval from Congress for the extra personnel.
President Obama announced earlier this month plans to roughly double the number of US troops in Iraq, adding an additional 1,500 to establish sites to train nine Iraqi military brigades and three Kurdish Peshmerga brigades.
Peshmerga fighters have launched a fresh assault this week against Islamic State militants, backed by American airstrikes, concentrating their counter-offensive around the city of Kirkuk.