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 and other locations.They 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. These new personnel will be "postured there to do all things in Mosul, Raqqa, and in between," Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations, told House lawmakers Wednesday. "So the whole brigade will now be forward," Anderson said.
Today, there are about 6,000 American troops spread between Iraq and Syria, where this week Marine Corps artillery crews established a fire base from which US forces intend to attack ISIS targets in and around Raqqa. Additionally, a team of Army Rangers was sent to the northern Syrian town of Manbij to prevent Turkish troops and Syrian Kurdish militias from fighting one another. Russian military elements are also present on the city's outskirts.