US announces deployment of extra troops to train Iraq forces

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By Euronews
US announces deployment of extra troops to train Iraq forces

<p>The Pentagon says the first of the 1,500 extra American troops due to advise and train Iraqi forces <a href="http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=123688" rel="external">will be deployed in the next few weeks</a>.</p> <p>They are expected to help volunteers from Iraq’s Sunni tribes who have been joining training centres at army bases.</p> <p>Washington says the new US contingent will be deployed over the next few weeks, adding that it has also secured pledges from other countries.</p> <p>“I think, certainly by the end of the calendar year, your going to see a much more robust presence, not just by the United States doing this but by coalition partners, as well,” said Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.</p> <p>The Pentagon is still waiting for Congress to approve the additional funding needed in order to execute the expanded effort.</p> <p>President Barack Obama’s administration announced on November 7 plans roughly to 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.</p> <p>While the Iraqi army backed by Kurdish forces continue the fight on the ground, an airstrike is said to have killed an <span class="caps">ISIL</span> leader in Mosul, which was captured when the hardline group swept through northern Iraq earlier this year.</p> <p>Residents and a local medical source say Radwan Taleb al-Hamdouni was killed with his driver when their car was hit.</p> <p>US officials said they were unable to confirm the information.</p> <p>The United States launched air strikes against <span class="caps">ISIL</span> in Iraq in August, later expanding operations to targets in Syria.</p>