Carter: 200 more US troops going to Iraq

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MIDDLE EAST (WSLS 10) - US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told Lester Holt in an exclusive interview in Baghdad that the United States has agreed to send more than 200 more American troops as advisers to Iraq.

Also, for the first time, Carter has authorized the use of Apache attack helicopters.

This marks another increase in the number of US forces as US-led coalition tries to help and assist Iraqis with a critical offensive, retaking the key city of Mosul from ISIS control.

"The Iraqis are still in the lead, that doesn't change," said Carter during the interview. "Americans are at risk today, every single day here. As Secretary of Defense, I take that more seriously than anything else. I want our troops to be effective, but I want them also to be as safe as possible, consistent with that, but it's very important to do this because we have to, and we will, defeat ISIL. We need to get that done as soon as possible and that means being more aggressive in the moves we make."

More from Holt's interview will air Monday night on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.