Defense officials revealed today (April 18, 2016) that the U.S. will send about 200 additional troops to Iraq to advise and assist its military, and will also send it more Apache attack helicopters to support those forces in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) group, according to the USA Today website.
The decision comes as Iraqi forces have begun preliminary operations to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from IS control. Retaking the city -- which has been occupied by IS for nearly two years -- is expected to be a difficult battle that may take several months.
The defense officials could not speak publicly about the decision to increase the forces, since it has not yet been formally announced.
President Obama has approved an increase of the authorized troop level in Iraq by 217 -- or from 3,870 to 4,087 troops.