US flying armed drones over Iraq as unrest builds

The U.S. military is now flying armed drones over Iraq to protect troops in the country, as tensions with Sunni militants continue to rise, according to reports.

The Defense Department hopes these drones will help protect U.S. troops, including the 300 special advisers President Obama said he would send to help Iraq's Shiite-led government fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

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The military does not plan to engage the Sunni militants with these armed drones, unless they are attacked. The U.S. was already flying surveillance drones over Iraq, but this move marks an escalation of the situation because the military is arming those drones in case they need to use them.

The Pentagon says there are about 500 U.S. troops in Iraq now, including about 180 of the 300 special advisers President Obama promised.