The U.S. is sending 2,500 troops to Kuwait, ready to step up the fight in Syria and Iraq

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is sending an additional 2,500 ground combat troops to a staging base in Kuwait from which they could be called upon to back up coalition forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The deployment will include elements of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. About 1,700 soldiers from the same unit are overseas now, spread between Iraq and Kuwait. They’re focused on the U.S.-led effort to train and assist the Iraqi troops doing much of the fighting against ISIS there.

These new personnel, however, will be “postured there to do all things Mosul, Raqqa, all in between,” Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, told House lawmakers Wednesday. He was referring to the Islamic State’s two main strongholds: Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, major urban centers where U.S.-back allies are fighting a well entrenched enemy.

“So the whole brigade will now be forward,” Anderson said.

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