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The US will send 250 additional military personnel to Syria to support local militias in the fight against ISIS, officials have said.

The goal, they say, is to encourage more Sunni Arabs to join Kurdish fighters in north-eastern Syria.

The new deployment will bring to 300 the number of US forces in non-combat roles in Syria.

Most of the additional personnel will be special operation forces, the AP reports. The group will also include medical and logistical troops, it adds.

A formal announcement is expected from President Barack Obama during his visit to Hannover on April 25, where he will discuss Syria and other foreign policy issues with leaders of the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

Barack Obama has resisted calls to send US troops into Syria, where a five-year-old conflict has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced some 11 million others.Syrian rebels to succeed ISISisis

Of those, four million have fled abroad, including growing numbers who are making the dangerous journey to Europe.

The crisis has put pressure on leaders there, who are struggling to halt a massive influx of migrants and refugees.

Speaking alongside Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 24 urged warring parties to set up safe zones in Syria where refugees would be protected within the country.

Angela Merkel expressed hope that such a plan might eventually be agreed at peace talks taking place in Geneva.

Barack Obama, however, said it would be “very difficult” for those zones to work without a large military commitment.

ISIS has lost parts of the territory it once controlled in Syria. Most recently, they were pushed back by Russian-backed Syrian forces from the strategic city of Palmyra.

The group has also had significant setbacks in Iraq, including the loss of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.

The US has led a coalition against the militant group in both Syria and Iraq.

President Barack Obama has sent US troops to Syria to assist anti-government rebels in fighting the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), officials have said.

There will be “fewer than 50” forces deployed in the region to “train, advise and assist” vetted opposition forces, officials added.

This will be the first time US troops are working openly on the ground in Syria.

However, there have been US special forces raids on ISIS militants there.

For more than a year, the US and coalition forces have been carrying out air strikes on ISIS, which controls a large part of northern Syria and parts of neighboring Iraq.US ground troops sent to Syria

The US recently abandoned its Syria rebel training effort, opting to provide equipment and arms directly to rebel leaders instead.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama wanted to provide additional support for Syrian rebel fighters who’ve been having success on the battlefield.

“There are now moderate opposition forces that are 45 miles outside Raqqa,” he said.

“The president is prepared to intensify the elements that have shown promise.”

Josh Earnest said: “This is an intensification of a strategy he discussed a year ago.”

US special operations forces have previously taken part in at least two raids in Syria.

In May, troops killed senior ISIS member Abu Sayyaf and captured his wife in eastern Syria.

Last summer, forces failed in an operation to rescue American hostages including journalist James Foley, who was later beheaded by ISIS fighters.

Last week, American forces assisted Kurdish troops in the rescue of dozens of hostages held by ISIS in Iraq. One American was killed in the raid.


According to new reports, the US spends more than $9 million a day on the war against ISIS, and has poured $2.7 billion into the bombing campaign since the start.

An international coalition has been conducting air strikes in Iraq and Syria since last August.

The first breakdown of US costs, released by the Pentagon, show that two-thirds of the total bill has gone to the Air Force.

It came as Congress rejected legislation banning further spending.US spendings  against ISIS

The US House of Representative approved a $579 billion defense spending bill.

It rejected an amendment calling for a stop to cash going on the fight against ISIS unless Congress passed a new authorization for the use of force.

The cost of the US military operation has risen sharply since it began last August in Iraq.

This week, the White House announced another 450 advisers for Iraq, bringing the total military personnel to 3,500.

But officials emphasize there are no combat troops and the US mission is to train local forces to do the fighting.

On June 11, the top general in the US said the country’s intervention in Iraq could extend further.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the role of calling in air strikes, which would put troops nearer the front lines, remained a future option.

Martin Dempsey raised the possibility of establishing a network of US training hubs in northern Iraq.

The US is withdrawing its troops from al-Anad air base in Yemen because of increasing insecurity there, Yemeni sources say.

About 100 troops, including Special Forces commandos, are leaving the base near the southern city of al-Houta, the officials said.

Al-Houta was stormed by al-Qaeda fighters on March 20, although they were later driven out by the Yemeni army.

The US military has not confirmed the evacuation.

It comes a day after suicide bombers killed at least 137 people in the capital Sanaa. Militants allied to Islamic State (ISIS) said they carried out the attack.US troops evacuate al-Anad air base in Yemen

There are mounting tensions between various powerful, armed elements in Yemen, including Houthi rebels, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

US troops at al-Anad air base have been training Yemeni fighters to launch attacks against al-Qaeda operatives.

On March 20, al-Qaeda fighters took control of al-Houta, near to the airbase. But the militants were later driven back by the army.

The US closed its embassy in Sanaa in February after Houthi rebel forces took over the city.

Yemen is the base of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a powerful offshoot of the jihadist militant group.

ISIS is also gaining ground in Yemen, after setting up a base in the country in November.

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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.

The US will send 1,500 more non-combat troops to Iraq to boost local forces fighting ISIS militants

The US will send 1,500 more non-combat troops to Iraq to boost local forces fighting ISIS militants

“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.

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US troops have been deployed to Iraq to assist the Iraqi army in combating a growing Sunni militant insurgency, the Pentagon has announced.

Nearly half the 300 special operations soldiers promised by President Barack Obama are in Baghdad or on the front lines of the fight.

The rest are expected within days.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry called for regional unity to expel the Sunni ISIS rebels who have taken large swathes of Iraq.

On Tuesday, two teams totaling 40 US troops began work assessing Iraqi troops on the front line, the Pentagon said.

US troops have been deployed to Iraq to assist the Iraqi army in combating a growing Sunni militant insurgency

US troops have been deployed to Iraq to assist the Iraqi army in combating a growing Sunni militant insurgency (photo NBC News)

An additional 90 personnel will work in Baghdad to set up a new joint operations command centre.

Those teams will be joined by an additional four teams of 50 troops each in the next few days.

The Obama administration has stressed the troops are not intended as operational forces but instead are there to advise the Iraqis and provide intelligence.

The Iraqi government had requested American air strikes, but Barack Obama has been reluctant to do anything that could lead to accusations the US was taking sides in a sectarian conflict.

The insurgents, spearheaded by Islamists fighting under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), have overrun much of north and west Iraq, including the second-biggest city, Mosul.

The violence has claimed at least 1,075 lives in Iraq in June alone, most of them civilians, a UN human rights team has reported.

The UN said the figures, which include a number of verified summary executions, should be viewed as an absolute minimum.

President Barack Obama has announced that the US will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after it concludes its combat mission at the end of this year.

Under the plan Barack Obama announced at the White House, the US will continue to withdraw troops until only a small residual force remains after 2016.

The remaining troops would guard the US embassy, train Afghan forces and support counter-terrorism operations.

But the plan depends on the Afghans signing a joint security agreement.

President Barack Obama has announced that the US will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after it concludes its combat mission at the end of this year

President Barack Obama has announced that the US will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after it concludes its combat mission at the end of this year (photo AP)

While current Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign such an agreement, the Obama administration appears to be confident either of the two candidates seeking to replace him would do so.

“This year, we will bring America’s longest war to its responsible end,” Barack Obama said.

The troop numbers Barack Obama announced are largely in line with what military commanders have been asking for. His announcement indicates the longest war in American history – launched by President George W. Bush following the 11 September 2001 terror attacks – will end by the time he leaves office.

He confirmed the US would seek to have 9,800 troops across Afghanistan at the beginning of 2015, but that number would be reduced by about half by the end of the year and would be concentrated in Kabul and at Bagram Air Force Base.

“We will no longer patrol Afghan cities and towns, mountains or valleys,” Barack Obama said.

“That is a task for the Afghan people.”

By 2016, Barack Obama said, the military will draw down to a “normal embassy presence” with an additional security detail, “just as we’ve done in Iraq”.

“We have to recognize Afghanistan will not be a perfect place – and it is not America’s responsibly to make it one,” Barack Obama said.

However, he added the US would help Afghans secure a “hard-earned peace”.

Afghanistan’s run-off election between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani to replace Hamid Karzai is set for 14 June.

Barack Obama noted on Tuesday that both have said they would sign a security agreement with the US.

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