US President Barack Obama is reportedly preparing to approve the deployment of more US troops to Iraq to train up local forces fighting Islamic State.
He is considering up to 500 additional troops as well as a new training base in Iraq’s Anbar province, unnamed US officials were quoted as saying.
President Obama said earlier this week the US lacked a “complete strategy” for helping Iraq regain territory from IS.
IS has recently made gains in Iraq despite US-led coalition air strikes.
In May the militants seized Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, Iraq’s largest province, as well as the Syrian town of Tadmur and the neighbouring ancient ruins of Palmyra.
IS fighters took control of Iraq’s second city Mosul a year ago.
The US National Security Council said it was now “considering a range of options to accelerate the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces”.
“Those options include sending additional trainers,” spokesman Alistair Baskey said.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told journalists on a visit to Jerusalem that there would be no fundamental change to Mr Obama’s military strategy in Iraq.
But, he added, the service chiefs had “made some recommendations on potential enhancements to the training and equip mission”.