The U.S. military's top officer has called for deploying U.S. advisers to Iraq's western Anbar Province to counter Islamic State (IS) fighters.
General Martin Dempsey's comments at a news cofnerence in Washington on October 30 marked the first time the U.S. military openly endorsed sending advisers to the restive province, where Iraqi government troops have suffered a string of setbacks at the hands of the IS militant group.
Analysts say sending in advisory teams to Anbar would signal an escalation in the U.S. military mission in Iraq and could put U.S. troops at higher risk.
The U.S. military has sent about 600 advisers to Baghdad and Irbil in the north to assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces and coordinate U.S.-led air raids against IS.
The advisers are not heading into combat with Iraqi or Kurdish units but working with senior officers.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP