Obama Sends More Troops To Iraq, Raising Total To About 750

In this Monday, June 9, 2014 image taken from video obtained from the Iraqi Military, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, military soldiers prepare to take their positions durin... In this Monday, June 9, 2014 image taken from video obtained from the Iraqi Military, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, military soldiers prepare to take their positions during clashes with militants in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq. Insurgents on Tuesday pressed their efforts to seize effective control of Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul on Tuesday after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts and militants overran the provincial government headquarters and other key buildings, dealing a serious blow to Baghdad’s attempts to tame a widening insurgency in the country. (AP Photo/Iraqi Military via AP video) MORE LESS
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is sending another 300 troops to Iraq to increase security at the U.S. Embassy and elsewhere in the Baghdad area to protect U.S. citizens and property, officials said Monday.

That raises the total U.S. troop presence in Iraq to approximately 750, the Pentagon said.

The State Department, meanwhile, announced that it was temporarily moving an unspecified “small number” of embassy staff in Baghdad to U.S. consulates in the northern city of Irbil and the southern city of Basra. This is in addition to some embassy staff moved out of Baghdad earlier this month,

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Baghdad embassy “will be fully equipped to carry out” its mission.

The White House announced that President Barack Obama had directed that 200 troops be sent to reinforce security at the embassy, its support facilities and Baghdad International Airport.

The Pentagon said the 200 arrived Sunday and Monday.

“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,” the Pentagon’s press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said in a written statement.

Obama notified House and Senate leaders in a letter on Monday of the additional forces heading to Iraq. Officials said they bring a detachment of helicopters and drone aircraft to improve airfield and travel route security in Baghdad.

Obama has ruled out sending combat troops back into Iraq. He said the extra troops will stay in Iraq until security improves so that the reinforcements are no longer needed.

Kirby said another 100 troops, who had been on standby in the Middle East since mid-June, also will move into Baghdad to provide security and logistics support.

That raises to about 470 the number of U.S. troops providing security in Baghdad.

Those forces are separate from the teams of up to 300 U.S. military advisers that Obama authorized for deployment to Iraq earlier in June. Of those 300, about 180 had arrived as of Monday, the Pentagon said. They are assessing the state of Iraqi security forces and coordinating with Iraqi authorities.

The U.S. also has a permanent group of about 100 military personnel in the Office of Security Cooperation, at the U.S. Embassy, to coordinate U.S. military sales.

___

AP National Security Writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  1. Avatar for Libs Libs says:

    I really wish Obama would stop setting “red lines” for political purposes. “No American troops in Iraq” has been followed by the first 275 troops sent to Iraq, then more and more to today total of 750. We are either going to protect our interests in Iraq or not, 750 US soldiers are an amazingly powerful force, but sure not enough to fight back the ISIS advance. Many more will be needed or we should get out of there altogether. This reminds of the beginning of the Vietnam war started by Kennedy, at the time of his death the number of “advisers” was 16,000.

  2. No matter which way it goes, there will always be fighting in Iraq. The Bush’s taught us that and made sure of it. The US has fallen into the trap of the Cheney/Bush Doctrine which only takes the starting of conflicts into account. Lying the nation into endless wars/occupations was much simpler than getting out honestly.
    How about an objective besides bomb while pilfering someone else’s oil behind the bomb dust that makes any sense. And, who’s coming to America’s aide as we neglect ourselves for the sheer exercise of it?

    We are stuck with no sensible way out or safe way to stay and those are the hard facts. Obama feels compelled to appease the idiot war mongers that designed this mess and want more, and all of the profiteers, but it’s time to cut our outrageous losses and come home. Iraq is as guaranteed a loser as Afghanistan and so is the entire Middle East as far as America is concerned. A win from our POV anywhere over there, say Syria, is still a loss and at best we force the militants and terrorists to move and regroup. This is the formula for 100’s of years wars. Do we want 88 more or 188 more of this insanity?

  3. Some might want to write thousands of words about this but I think this says it all, Welcome to Vietnem.

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