Obama Sending 450 Trainers to Fight ISIS in Iraq

In response to Baghdad's pleas for help
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 10, 2015 12:01 PM CDT
Obama Sending 450 Trainers to Fight ISIS in Iraq
President Obama speaks during his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 14, 2015.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

As promised, the United States will send up to 450 more troops to Iraq to boost the training of local forces, in a response to recent setbacks at the hands of ISIS and Baghdad's appeals for more help. Under the plan, the number of US training sites in Iraq would increase from four to five, enabling a larger number of Iraqis to join the fight against the Islamic militant group.

Most of the fighters would be Sunni tribal volunteers; as CNN notes, the hope is to inspire what one White House official calls a secondary Sunni uprising, similar to that of 2013. The White House says President Obama made the decision at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and based on advice from Pentagon leaders. Obama continues to resist demands for combat troops or for more US soldiers on the ground to call in airstrikes. (More President Obama stories.)

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