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President Obama sending 350 troops to Baghdad

President Barack Obama signs off on sending 350 U.S. troops to Baghdad.
By Heather Records   |   Sept. 2, 2014 at 9:36 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama authorized a request on Tuesday to send 350 more troops to Baghdad to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel.

In June, President Obama laid out a five-part plan on how the U.S. will deal with the situation in Iraq.

The White House said in a statement:

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.

The statement also said those troops will not serve in a combat role.

The Defense Department said the additional 350 troops will bring the total number of U.S. forces in Iraq up to approximately 820.

The Pentagon also added:

The additional joint forces will come from within the U.S. Central Command area of operations and will include a headquarters element, medical personnel, associated helicopters, and an air liaison team. In all, 405 U.S. military personnel will be sent to Baghdad to provide a more robust and sustainable security presence to help the Department of State continue their critical mission.

The first group of 90 U.S. military advisers arrived in Baghdad in June.

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