(By Deutsche Welle) More than nine months, 2,000 airstrikes and 3,000 military advisers later, Congress still has not authorized the US war against the “Islamic State.” The White House now wants to deploy 450 advisers closer to the front.
The public and Congress have largely backed Washington’s third Iraq war. According to the Pew Research Center, 63 percent of Americans support the US military campaign against IS.
Forty-seven percent of the country would even support sending ground troops back to the Middle East. That’s an eight-point increase over last year, according to Pew.
Though the president has ruled out sending combat troops back to the Middle East, he has deployed a growing number of advisers. On Wednesday, the White House announced plans to send 450 additional US troops to train Iraqi forces, bringing the total number to more than 3,500.
The advisers will be stationed at Taqaddum airbase in Anbar province near the city of Habbaniyah, which is just 33 kilometers (20 miles) from two cities controlled by IS.
“Habbaniyah is sandwiched between Ramadi and Fallujah, now both Islamic State strongholds,” Wayne White, a former senior Iraq analyst at the State Department, told DW. “The Islamic State has made several efforts to move against Habbaniyah.”
“The personnel in Habbaniyah will be in greater danger,” White said.