US to deploy additional forces to support ISIS combat mission in Iraq

20 April 2016 (Last Updated April 20th, 2016 18:30)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has unveiled plans for the next phase of the fight against ISIS.

US DoD

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has unveiled plans for the next phase of the fight against ISIS.

The US DoD will deploy 217 additional advisers with the Peshmerga to support an assault on the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, Iraq.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said: "First we're going to place additional advisers with the Iraqi security forces, now down to brigade and battalion headquarters levels.

"Second, we're going to make available attack helicopters in support of the Iraqi forces and ongoing efforts to envelop and then retake Mosul. It's an important capability."

The DoD will also send high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) to provide support to the Iraqi ground offensive.

In addition, the US will provide a $415m package to Iraqi security forces, in response to a request for economic assistance from the Kurdistan regional government.

"Mosul is going to be more difficult, hence the additional support."

Operation Inherent Resolve Combined Joint Task Force commander Army lieutenant general Sean MacFarland said: "Mosul will be more of a linear type of an operation -- more contiguous -- and therefore those headquarters are pushed out of those bases, and in order to continue to provide the kind of assistance that we have been providing we have to be able to go to them.

"It's an order of magnitude more challenging than Ramadi was, so obviously we were able to take Ramadi back without the additional enablers.

"Mosul is going to be more difficult, hence the additional support."

In a separate development, Peshmerga forces have regained control of the key city of Hit in Al-Anbar province, which was captured by ISIS in October 2014.


Image: US Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Photo: courtesy of DoD /U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz.