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US signals it is open to sending more troops to Iraq

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 51.7%. 2 min read.

US troops walk as a US Army C-47 Chinook helicopter flies over the village of Oreij, south of Mosul, on February 22, 2017, where a temporary military base has been established for an assault on the city's west bank. Iraqi forces readied on February 22, 2017 for an assault on Mosul airport after blitzing jihadist positions in a renewed offensive to retake the Islamic State group's emblematic stronghold. / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Pentagon opened the door to the possibility of sending more American troops to Iraq as part of a newly expanded NATO training mission to support Iraqi forces and ensure that ISIS does not rise again.

(CNN)The Pentagon opened the door to the possibility of sending more American troops to Iraq as part of a newly expanded NATO training mission to support Iraqi forces and ensure that ISIS does not rise again.

"The US is participating in the force generation process for NATO Mission Iraq and will contribute its fair share to this important expanded mission," Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke about the mission with his NATO counterparts during a meeting with defense ministers on Thursday.

At a press conference Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the NATO mission would increase in size from 500 personnel to about 4,000.

"The US and its partners in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS remain committed to ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS, and the Department looks forward to continued consultations with Iraq, NATO, and the Global Coalition going forward," McNulty added.

Austin "welcomed the expanded role" of the NATO mission in Iraq, according to a readout of the discussions provided by the Pentagon.

Stoltenberg stressed the importance of the NATO mission to prevent the resurgence of ISIS.

The increase in NATO forces would be incremental and comes at the request of the Iraqi government, he added.

Trump's acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller touted the withdrawal of troops prior to Biden taking office as a sign of the mission's success, saying, "The drawdown of US force levels in Iraq is reflective of the increased capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.

In early February, Austin announced a global force posture review, in which military leaders would examine US troop levels around the world, including the "military footprint, resources, strategy and missions. "

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