Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Jackson /USA TODAY – 2014-07-01 00:39:19
US Sending 300 More Combat Troops to Iraq
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(June 30, 2014) — A week and a half ago, President Obama broke his “no boots on the ground” pledge, sending 300 military advisers to Iraq. At the time, administration officials explained it by claiming they weren’t technically combat troops, and that the pledge was simply not to send “combat troops” to Iraq.
That didn’t last long either, and today the administration informed Congress of their intention under the US War Powers Act to send “at least 200â€³ combat troops to Iraq, aimed at increasing the military force at the US embassy and posts at the airport.
CNN is reporting that in addition to the 200 combat troops reported to Congress, another 100 troops who were in the area are moving into Iraq. These troops are in addition to the 300 troops already guarding the embassy and 300 “advisers” announced last week.
Only 180 of the advisers are here so far, so about 800 US troops are in Iraq now, with expectations of further increases going forward, including support staff for the new combat forces and for the Joint Operations post in Baghdad, which is what the advisers are running.
Obama Sends Up to 200 More Troops to Iraq
David Jackson /USA TODAY
(June 30, 2014) — President Obama told Congress on Monday that he is deploying about 200 more troops to Iraq to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy and airport in Baghdad.
These and previously announced forces are being sent “for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and (are) equipped for combat,” Obama said in a letter to Congress required under the U.S. War Powers Resolution.
Earlier this month, Obama announced the deployment of 275 troops to protect the embassy.
In addition to security, these troops will provide “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support,” Obama said.
The president is also in the process of sending up to 300 military advisers to assist Iraq as it battles an invading army of jihadists that has taken over major cities and threatens the capital in Baghdad.
Obama said forces “will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.”
The U.S. is also sending helicopters and drones that can “bolster airfield and travel route security,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
“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 (ISIL),” Kirby said.