The White House has agreed to send 350 additional troops to Baghdad following a State Department request for more protection at the U.S. embassy and other installations.
“This action was taken at the recommendation of the Department of Defense after an extensive interagency review, and is part of the President’s commitment to protect our personnel and facilities in Iraq as we continue to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against [ISIS],” [White House press secretary Josh] Earnest said. “These additional forces will not serve in a combat role.”
“The President has made clear his commitment to doing whatever is required to provide the necessary security for U.S. personnel and facilities around the world,” Earnest said. “The request he approved today will allow some previously deployed military personnel to depart Iraq, while at the same time providing a more robust, sustainable security force for our personnel and facilities in Baghdad.”
According to CBS News, this will bring the U.S. troop count sent to Iraq to deal with the current crisis to 800, and the total U.S. troop presence in Baghdad to 1,213.
In addition to providing security services, the U.S. will also continue to help Iraqi, Kurdish, and Turkish troops fight ISIS:
U.S. bombs have continued to fall on ISIS targets in northern Iraq, in support of Kurdish forces fighting ISIS west if Erbil, since Obama authorized the airstrike campaign just over three weeks ago. Last week, the U.S. military expanded its anti-ISIS campaign southward to assist Shiite Turkmen surrounded by ISIS forces in the town of Amirli, and the Pentagon announced another airstrike there over the weekend.
Meanwhile, this week President Obama will attend a NATO summit in Wales, where he will work with U.S. allies and others concerned about the threat of ISIS to build a comprehensive strategy for fighting ISIS in the Middle East.DONATE
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