US SENDS 350 MORE TROOPS TO PROTECT EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD

President Obama authorised the deployment of approximately 350 additional troops to “to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, Iraq,” according to a statement released by the White House on Tuesday.

The statement made clear that the additional troops would “not serve in a combat role.”

Here’s the full statement:

Today, the President authorised the Department of Defence to fulfil a Department of State request for approximately 350 additional U.S. military personnel to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, Iraq. This action was taken at the recommendation of the Department of Defence after an extensive interagency review, and is part of the President’s commitment to protect our personnel and facilities in Iraq as we continue to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These additional forces will not serve in a combat role.

The President has made clear his commitment to doing whatever is required to provide the necessary security for U.S. personnel and facilities around the world. The request he approved today will allow some previously deployed military personnel to depart Iraq, while at the same time providing a more robust, sustainable security force for our personnel and facilities in Baghdad.

In addition to our efforts to protect our personnel, we will continue to support the Government of Iraq’s efforts to counter ISIL, which poses a threat not only to Iraq, but to the broader Middle East and U.S. personnel and interests in the region. The President will be consulting this week with NATO allies regarding additional actions to take against ISIL and to develop a broad-based international coalition to implement a comprehensive strategy to protect our people and to support our partners in the fight against ISIL. As part of this effort, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Hagel, and President Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, Lisa Monaco, will be travelling separately to the region in the near-term to build a stronger regional partnership.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.

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