President Barack Obama has said the US is providing more support to Iraq as its military moves to take back territory from Islamic State (Isis/Daesh), and he expects the city of Mosul will be retaken by the end of 2016.
"As we see the Iraqis willing to fight and gaining ground, let's make sure that we are providing them more support," Obama said in an interview with CBS News broadcast on 18 April.
US officials announced in Baghdad the US will deploy about 200 additional troops, mostly as advisers for Iraqi troops as they advance towards Mosul, the largest Iraqi city still under IS control. The increase raises the authorised US troop level in Iraq to 4,087, not including special operations personnel, some logistics workers and troops on temporary rotations.
"We're not doing the fighting ourselves," Obama said, "but when we provide training, when we provide special forces who are backing them up, when we are gaining intelligence, working with the coalitions that we have, what we've seen is that we can continually tighten the noose on Islamic State. My expectation is that by the end of the year, we will have created the conditions whereby Mosul will eventually fall," Obama said.
The full interview will air on CBS and The Charlie Rose Show on 19 April.
Additional reporting by Reuters