A senior commander in charge of leading the US-led military efforts against ISIS has said that US military officials are considering boosting the current level of troops in Iraq
British Army Major General DougChalmers, the deputy commander for support in the US-led coalition, said on Thursday :”We’re constantly looking to see if we’re right-sized,” adding that the number of troops and additional combat capabilities were part of an “ongoing dialogue.”
The general’s remarks followed a report by the Washington Post that claimed US military commanders were going to ask President Barack Obama to authorize extra troops and equipment to allegedly fight the terror group in Iraq and Syria.
Chalmers said additional capabilities could include logistics, equipment, air support and surveillance. However, he declined to provide more details in this regard.
On the size of the requested troop level increase, he said, “I can guarantee you, it’s not (in) the thousands.”
According to the Post, Washington’s “arbitrary” limits on troop numbers have frustrated coalition commander Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland as well as a group of US military commanders, administration officials and lawmakers.
Pentagon chief Ashton Carterannounced in April that the United States will send 217 additional troops to Iraq, the last official reinforcement that would put the official tally at 4,087.
However, that number is expected to be significantly higher as the Pentagon doesn’t count certain categories of troops.
The US claims its forces in Iraq are seeking to shore up local militant groups against Daesh.
Earlier in June, the Reuters reported that US military officials have admitted to failure of their efforts to “retrain and reunify” Iraq’s regular army and generate enough combat units.
There are also dozens of US special operations forces in Syria, who are working closely with a collection of various armed groups that are trying to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US has also been supplying the militants with ammunition.