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US sends troops to Iraq, pledges $415 million aid to Kurdish Peshmerga

The United States will send more troops to Iraq and will position them closer to the frontlines of battle against Islamic State militants, reports Reuters.

US defence officials said on Monday that they will deploy a further 200 troops as advisers for Iraqi troops as they advance towards Mosul, and provide up to $415 million to Kurdish Peshmerga military units.

The US also authorised Apache attack helicopters to help the advance.

The US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, said,

“This will put Americans closer to the action. Their whole purpose is to be able to help those forces respond in a more agile way.”

The US Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland added that the Pentagon would provide up to $415 million to Kurdish militants, stating,

“Right now the Peshmerga are not getting enough calories to keep them in the field.”

The Peshmerga, known for their devout commitment to the Kurdish nationalist cause and regarded as well-trained, well-armed and capable, are the Iraqi Kurdish military force of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination. The term Peshmerga translates to ‘those who follow death.’

Kurdish leader discusses self-determination and arms deliveries during White House visit (11 May 2015)