"Our mission remains to advise, assist, train [and] equip our partner forces both here in Iraq and in Syria. That really continues to be our primary mission," Warren said when asked if the US mission in Iraq is turning toward a combat role.
However, Warren pointed out that only a few hundred of the approximately 4,000 US troops in Iraq were serving in an advise and assist capacity.
"It’s really only several hundred [troops]. It’s a handful of teams that go advise and assist," Warren explained.
Warren’s comments come amid a joint statement from 11 defense ministers of countries in the US-led coalition against Daesh.
The ministers said in the statement they would support the near-term deployment of additional capacities to aid ground forces against the terrorist group.
On Tuesday, a US soldier was killed in a gun battle after Daesh fighters attacked Kurdish Peshmerga forces and US troops in the Iraqi town of Tal Asqaf.