US Calling For More Troops in Iraq
General Joseph Dunford said Friday that he expected more U.S. troops would be sent to Iraq in the coming weeks to support an offensive to retake the ISIS stronghold in Mosul.
Dunford said that he and Defense Secretary Carter "both believe that there will be an increase in U.S. forces in Iraq in coming weeks, but that decision hasn't been made" yet by President Barack Obama.
"We have a series of recommendations that we will be discussing with the president in the coming weeks to further enable our support for the Iraqi Security Forces," the chairman said.
Dunford did not say how many additional troops would be deployed, and he refused to say how many were now in Iraq beyond stating that the number currently exceeded the authorized level of 3,870 approved by Obama and agreed to by the Baghdad government.
Dunford denied published reports that the number of U.S. troops now in Iraq exceeded 5,000.
Dunford cited the deployment of about 200 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit artillery battery, based aboard the USS Kearsarge as an example of the type of support the Iraqi Security Forces will need to retake Mosul in northwestern Iraq.
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