The Pentagon has announced it will send up to 1,300 more U.S. troops to Iraq on a mission to "train, advice, and assist," beginning in late January.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said on December 19 that the deployment is part of an additional 1,500 troops authorized in November by President Barack Obama.
Kirby said the goal of the mission is to train nine brigades of Iraqi security forces and three Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga brigades.
The United States has been fighting Islamic State militants since August in Iraq and Syria.
The United States launched airstrikes against the Islamic militants on August 8 in Iraq, and later broadened the fight to IS targets in Syria.
Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said Obama was committed to using only air strikes to degrade IS militants.
Based on reporting by dpa and AFP