The US will send 1,500 more non-combat troops to Iraq to boost local forces fighting Islamic State (ISIS) militants, the White House has announced.
The Pentagon said the troops would train and assist Iraqi forces.
President Barack Obama authorized the deployment following a request from Iraq’s government, the Pentagon added.
ISIS militants control large areas of Iraq and Syria but have been targeted by hundreds of air strikes by a US-led coalition since August.
The 1,500 additional US troops will join several hundred military advisers that are already in Iraq to assist the country’s army.
A statement from the Pentagon said the troops would be establishing several sites to train nine Iraqi army and three Kurdish Peshmerga brigades.
The US military would also be setting up two “advise and assist operations centers” outside Baghdad and the northern city of Irbil, the statement added.
“US troops will not be in combat, but they will be better positioned to support Iraqi security forces as they take the fight” to ISIS, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama would also be asking Congress for $5.6 billion to support the ongoing operations against ISIS fighters in both Iraq and Syria.
The announcement came hours after Barack Obama met congressional leaders in Washington for the first time after the Republicans won control of the Senate in Tuesday’s elections.
The Obama administration has said its aim was to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State militants, who control large parts of the country after launching an offensive in the north in June.
A US-led coalition has launched more than 400 air strikes on the group in Iraq since August, and more than 300 across the border in Syria.
The strikes have destroyed hundreds of the group’s armed vehicles and several of its bases, but Islamic State has continued its campaign to establish a caliphate.
Last week, officials in Iraq’s western Anbar province said ISIS militants had killed at least 322 members of a Sunni tribe who had tried to resist the jihadists.
[youtube Hfr8YywnQrc 650]