President Obama announced Monday that he is sending approximately 200 American troops to Iraq to reinforce security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Baghdad International Airport, as the country wages a bloody battle against jihadists.
The troops will serve a different mission in Iraq than the 275 advisory troops sent to Iraq earlier this month in response to advances by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIS). The additional troops will serve to solely augment security.
“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 (ISIS),” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
Obama notified House and Senate leaders in a letter on Monday. Obama said the additions include security forces, rotary-wing aircraft, and support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Obama has ruled out sending combat troops back into Iraq, but he said the additional troops will be equipped for combat. He said their purpose is to protect U.S. citizens and property if needed.
Obama said the troops will stay in Iraq until security improves so that the reinforcements are no longer needed.
Fox News' Wes Barrett and The Associated Press contributed to this report