The U.S. is gearing up to send 400 to 500 more military trainers and advisers to Iraq, adding to the 3,080 U.S. military personnel already in the country. President Obama could sign off on the plan as early as Wednesday, officials tell Reuters. The modest increase in U.S. military forces is a reaction to Islamic State's recent gains in Anbar province, especially its capture of provincial capital Ramadi.
The new troops won't change the U.S. mission — the goal is still to help train and advise Iraqi forces, not engage in combat. Along with fresh military personnel, the U.S. plans to open a new training base in Anbar, outside the town of Habbaniyah, focused on preparing Sunni tribal militias to take on ISIS. The focus on Anbar means the U.S. has officially put off plans to help Iraq retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS this spring and summer, The New York Times reports.
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