US considers deployment of additional advisers to Iraq

20 August 2014 (Last Updated August 20th, 2014 18:30)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is reportedly considering sending additional military advisers to Iraq to help bolster security at US diplomatic facilities in the country.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is reportedly considering sending additional military advisers to Iraq to help bolster security at US diplomatic facilities in the country.

An unnamed senior US official was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying: "We are considering sending fewer than 300."

The request for additional advisers was initiated by the State Department, and an official decision is yet to be taken, the source added.

"We are considering sending fewer than 300."

Another US military official was quoted by NBC News as saying that nearly 150 of the requested personnel would be marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is aboard the USS Bataan in the Persian Gulf.

Additional soldier deployments are currently being worked out by the Pentagon, the official added.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that the US defence secretary Chuck Hagel is yet to receive an internal recommendation on the merits of strengthening the Baghdad embassy.

Like the current advisers in Iraq, the requested soldiers would not have any combat function, but would bring the number of US servicemen in the country to around 1,150.

However, US State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said that she was unaware of such a request.

The US has recently intensified air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in the vicinity of the Mosul Dam.

The US Central Command said in a statement: "The strikes destroyed or damaged six Isil Humvees, three IED emplacements, one mortar tube and two armed trucks."

US President Barack Obama has pledged to continue the campaign after IS militants released a video apparently showing the beheading of a US journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria.

The militants have also threatened to kill Steven Sotloff, another kidnapped US reporter, if air strikes in Iraq continue.

Defence Technology