Three hundred more U.S. troops were sent Monday to Iraq, where extremists have been trying to consolidate territory in their quest to create a border-crossing Islamic caliphate. A third of the troops are airfield management and security forces who were recently sent to Kuwait and the rest are CENTCOM forces who will be responsible for security at the American embassy and other facilities, including Baghdad Airport.
President Obama announced the deployment in a letter to congressional leaders. "This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat," he wrote. "This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed." The president has now authorized nearly 800 troops, in addition to the 300 military security forces that were already at the embassy before the assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
— Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube
First published June 30 2014, 3:03 PM