U.S. to Send 560 Additional Troops to Iraq

U.S. to Send 560 Additional Troops to Iraq

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BAGHDAD (NSP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Monday that the United States will deploy an additional 560 troops to Iraq to aid in the fight against ISIL in the region.

Carter made the announcement while visiting the country and only five days after President Barack Obama’s announcement that 8,400 troops will remain in Afghanistan, despite previous plans to reduce the number to 5,500.

Carter met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi and other Iraqi leaders to discuss the recent capture of an airfield near the town of Qayyarah in Northern Iraq.

A Commander who spoke with The Washington Post under the condition of anonymity said the Iraqi operation to retake the Qayyarah airfield was the largest armored operation since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein.

The additional troops are said to be providing a “range of support” for Iraqi Security Forces including infrastructure and logistical capabilities at the airfield near Qayyarah, according to a DoD press release.

President Obama approved the additional troops after consulting with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairmen Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, U.S. Central Command commander Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel and the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland.

The announcement also comes on the heels of increased violence in Iraq after a truck bomb detonated in Baghdad killed 292 and injured 200 more. The attack is the deadliest attack in the region since 2003.

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 it is estimated that between 160,577 to 179,534 civilians have died due to violence in the region.

Approximately 4,497 American Military members have been killed since the war began.

The United States has been operating militarily in or very near Iraq for nearly Thirty years.

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