President Obama Sending 200 More U.S. Troops to Iraq - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

President Obama Sending 200 More U.S. Troops to Iraq

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President Barack Obama says he's sending about 200 more U.S. troops to Iraq to protect Americans and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
 
The announcement will bring to nearly 800 the total number of U.S. forces in and around Iraq to train local forces, secure the embassy and protect American interests.
Obama notified House and Senate leaders in a letter on Monday. Obama says the additions include security forces, rotary-wing aircraft, and support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Obama has ruled out sending combat troops back into Iraq. But he says the additional troops will be equipped for combat. He says their purpose is to protect U.S. citizens and property if needed.
Obama says the troops will stay in Iraq until security improves so that the reinforcements are no longer needed.  (AP)

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby on Additional Security Forces to Iraq

At the direction of the president, the U.S. military augmented its security assistance by up to approximately 200 personnel to reinforce security at the U.S. embassy, its support facilities, and Baghdad International Airport. The president authorized this augmentation as a prudent measure to protect U.S. citizens and property.

 These additional personnel arrived in Iraq Sunday and today from locations within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Capabilities provided include a detachment of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, which will bolster airfield and travel route security. Similar to the U.S. security personnel who arrived in Baghdad earlier this month to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, they will integrate with existing U.S. embassy security teams.The presence of these additional forces will help enable the embassy to continue its critical diplomatic mission and work with Iraq on challenges they are facing as they confront Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

In addition, the approximately 100 personnel already prepositioned in the Central Command region -- previously announced by the Defense Department in mid-June -- will also move forward to Baghdad to provide security and logistics support.
 
These forces are separate and apart from the up to 300 personnel the president authorized to establish two joint operations centers and conduct an assessment of how the U.S. can provide additional support to Iraq's security forces as they confront the grave threat posed by ISIL.

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