U.S. President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $3.2 billion to fund its military campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, Agence France-Presse reported late Thursday, citing unnamed government officials. The U.S. is spending $8.3 million a day on its campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, according to the Pentagon.
The new funding, if approved, will be used to cover the costs of replacing munitions used in airstrikes and military operations and provide at least $500 million to train and equip Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIS militants, AFP reported, citing the officials. The proposed funding will also pay for the roughly 600 American military advisers working with security forces in Iraq.
The funding request will be presented as an amendment to the Pentagon's war budget, known as the overseas contingency operations fund, the officials told AFP. The additional funds would provide a significant boost to the U.S. campaign against ISIS, which consists primarily of airstrikes against the group’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria and has so far cost nearly $600 million.
The report comes just a day after Obama said he would seek Congressional approval for a new authorization to use military force to direct the campaign -- dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve -- against the Islamic State group.
Meanwhile, in an apparent expansion of airstrikes in the region, American aircraft on Thursday bombed the headquarters of Ahrar al-Sham, another Islamist Syrian group, on the country’s border with Turkey. Airstrikes were also conducted against targets of the Khorasan Group, which resurfaced after several weeks of absence from the news.