One of the most significant features of the US strategy to combat the Islamic State (IS) that Secretary of State John Kerry revealed at the end of September was “training and equipping local military forces" in Iraq and Syria. President Barack Obama's administration asked the US Congress for $500 million to train local forces. According to the plan, military training at the individual level will initially be provided to Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters, Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi Shiite militiamen. After these local forces prove themselves, the support would be expanded with the goal of stopping and then annihilating IS.
In the Iraqi arena, as was the case in 2006-2007, nine brigades of Shiite militiamen and three brigades of peshmerga would be formed as national guard units. The United States has allotted a fund of $1.6 billion to set up the brigades.