WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- President Obama informed Congress Saturday he sent about 50 U.S. troops to Chad to protect Americans being evacuated from neighboring Central African Republic.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., president pro tempore of the Senate, Obama said U.S. Embassy personnel and several private U.S. citizens were evacuated from Bangui, Central African Republic, Thursday because the deteriorating security condition in the country posed a potential threat to them.
The president said in conjunction with the evacuation, he ordered the approximately 50 troops to Chad.
"Although equipped for combat, this stand-by security force was deployed solely for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, until the U.S. Embassy personnel and private U.S. citizens have been safely evacuated from the Central African Republic," Obama 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."
Obama went on to say the letter was part of his efforts to keep Congress "fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution" and that he "appreciate[s] the support of the Congress in this action."