The U.S. will deploy 560 more troops to Iraq, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday.
The additional troops, approved by Barack Obama, will bring the authorized number of American service members serving in Iraq to 4,657.
A center piece for Carter's visit to Baghdad is the possibility of a new offensive in Mosul. The fight for Mosul was described by one senior defense official ahead of Carter's trip as "the fight for Iraq... the culminating battle."
“At every step in this campaign, we have generated and seized additional opportunities to hasten ISIL’s lasting defeat,” Carter said, using an acronym for the militant group. “These additional U.S. forces will bring unique capabilities to the campaign and provide critical enabler support to Iraqi forces at a key moment in the fight.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump often criticizes Obama for these tactics. Releasing battle plans weeks before projected movements can only benefit enemies of the United States.