Pentagon considers additional 500 troops for Iraq
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 23, 2016
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon could request an additional 500 U.S. troops be sent to Iraq to assist in the fight to defeat the Islamic State group in Mosul, a senior defense official confirmed to Stars and Stripes.
The additional troops, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would increase the number of U.S. forces in Iraq to more than 5,000, the highest number of American troops sent there since 2011.
The forces “would be phased in as the Iraqis get closer and closer to Mosul,” said a senior defense official at the Pentagon who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed this week that the Iraqis will be ready to begin the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group in October.