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Obama wants $US3.2 bn more for US air war

President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $US3.

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2 billion ($A3.46 billion) to pay for the war against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

The funds will help cover the cost of replacing bombs in the weeks-long US-led air campaign against IS jihadists and assistance for Iraqi army troops and Kurdish forces battling the IS on the ground, two defence officials told AFP.

The air war in Syria and Iraq – which commanders say could last years – has involved thousands of sorties and hundreds of bombing raids, at a daily cost of $US8.3 million ($A8.98 million), according to the Pentagon.

But independent analysts say the price tag is higher if the full cost of the air operations are taken into account, particularly numerous flights by sophisticated surveillance aircraft.

According to the Pentagon, the air war – dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve – cost $US580 million ($A627.54 million) as of October 16.

The proposed funding also would pay for the roughly 600 US military advisers who are working with Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Baghdad and Arbil, as well as about 800 other American troops providing security for the US embassy and Baghdad airport.

The request to approve money for the air campaign follows comments by Obama on Wednesday saying he will ask Congress to approve new legal authority for the war. The White House had said previously there was no need for Congress to weigh in on war power authorities.

In June, the administration requested $US58.6 billion ($A63.40 billion) for the war operations budget for the current fiscal year, which began October 1, but since then the United States launched a major air campaign in Iraq on August 8 and in Syria on September 23.

At the current pace of air strikes, the widening war against the IS group will cost more than the 2011 Libya conflict, which came to one billion dollars, and could add up to several billion dollars for one year, experts say.

The rising cost still pales in comparison to the astronomical price tag for the protracted counter-insurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, which came to trillions of dollars.

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