United States President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment of an additional 350 troops to Iraq in response to a State Department request last week for more protection for US personnel and facilities in Baghdad, the Washington Post reported.
“These additional forces will not serve in a combat role,” the White House stressed.
A Pentagon statement said the new deployments “will come from within the US Central Command area of operations and will include a headquarters element, medical personnel, associated helicopters and an air liaison team”.
The new deployment brings to more than 1,100 the total number of US military personnel authorized for Iraq since early June, when Islamic State fighters intensified their insurgency in the country, seizing towns and cities in the northwest and central regions.
Of that number, a total of 820 are now responsible for protecting the US Embassy and the airport in Baghdad and the US Consulate in Irbil in the northern Kurdish region, the report said.
Obama has said he will not send ground combat troops to Iraq.
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