The U.S. military says it has placed a contingent of Marines at a small outpost in northern Iraq to provide protection for an Iraqi military base where U.S. advisers are present.

It announced the deployment Sunday, one day after a member of that unit, Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, of Temecula, California, was killed by rocket fire. Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said several other Marines were wounded in the attack on what he called a "fire base" near Makhmour.

The U.S. statement announcing the Marine deployment did not say how many were sent, but two U.S. officials said it is between 100 and 200. The officials were not authorized to provide details about the deployment and so spoke on condition of anonymity.