- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 11, 2014

The first of 475 additional military personnel headed to Iraq as part of U.S. efforts against the Islamic State group will depart beginning Saturday, Pentagon officials said.

The forces will advise and assist Iraqi security forces, senior Defense Department officials said Thursday. The news comes after President Obama announced new strategy to eradicate the terrorist network.

Pentagon officials said the troops are expected to help the Iraqis coordinate their anti-terrorist operations so that they will be more effective against the group.

U.S. troops will not be dispatched to dangerous frontline battlefield locations, according to one senior Pentagon official. Instead, they will work out of secure and protected locations, the Pentagon official said.

“They’ll be wearing military uniforms because they’re going to be embedded at the brigade level or above,” the official said. “So they’re going to embed at a higher headquarters level.”

To date, there are 1,044 U.S. military troops in Iraq supporting the country’s security forces. The additional 475 military personnel will raise that number to 1,519.

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