President Obama announced that he is sending 200 U.S. military servicemembers “equipped for combat” to Iraq in order to protect Americans in Baghdad, a force that comes in addition to 300 military advisers that he has previously ordered into the country.
“In light of the security situation in Baghdad, I have ordered up to approximately 200 additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel to Iraq to reinforce security at the U.S. Embassy, its support facilities, and the Baghdad International Airport,” Obama wrote in a memo to House and Senate leaders Monday afternoon. “This force consists of additional security forces, rotary-wing aircraft, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support. This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat. This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.”
Last week, Obama ordered 300 other servicemembers to Iraq. “American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people in the region and American interests as well,” Obama said at the time.