The Hill – Jan. 21, 2016 - The United States might send more trainers to Iraq to help local forces retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a U.S. defense official said Wednesday.
"The reason we need new trainers or additional trainers is because that’s really the next step in generating the amount of combat power needed to liberate Mosul," said Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman for the ISIS effort.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter floated sending more trainers for the Iraqi army and police forces during a press conference on Tuesday en route to Paris.
"I expect the number of trainers to increase, and also the variety of the training they’re giving," Carter said.
There are currently 3,670 U.S. troops in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.
Warren said several more Iraqi brigades need training in preparation for the offensive on Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq that ISIS captured in June 2014.
"Hundreds" more additional trainers are needed, but not all of them would be from the United States, Warren said. The total number still needs to be worked out with the Iraqi government.
"We don’t have a solid number yet as we continue to work the analysis of the force generation process," he said.
Warren left open the possibility of more troops being needed to support the trainers.