Obama to send 200 more troops to Iraq

President Obama is sending up to 200 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, the White House announced Monday. 

The troops will reinforce security at the U.S. diplomatic facilities and at the Baghdad International Airport, and is in addition to the 300 troops requested earlier this month.

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“This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat,” the president said in a letter notifying Congress of his decision. 

“This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed,” he said.  

The force will include a detachment of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles to bolster airfield and travel route security, according to the Pentagon. 

The additional personnel arrived in Iraq on Sunday and Monday from other places within the region, according to Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. 

“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 ISIL,” Kirby said in a statement, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that has taken over much of northern Iraq. 

Another 100 troops that the president had tasked to stand by in the region will also flow into Baghdad to provide security and logistics support, Kirby said. 

“This action has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as commander in chief and chief executive,” the president said. 

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