US sending 200 more troops to Iraq to boost security
WASHINGTON — An additional 200 U.S. troops have arrived in Iraq to provide security for U.S. personnel and property, further boosting the American contingent there, the Pentagon said Monday.
The troops, who arrived Sunday, are in addition to up to 300 special operations personnel who have been sent to help Iraqi government forces deal with the threat of Sunni extremists who have seized large stretches of northern and western Iraq and are advancing toward Baghdad.
An additional 275 troops were sent earlier this month to bolster security.
Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the 200 troops will provide additional security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, related facilities and Baghdad International Airport.
The troops will come with a detachment of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, Kirby said.
President Barack Obama ordered the advisers to Iraq to support Iraqi forces and to advise the White House on what the U.S. military role, if any, should be.
The militant group, which had called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, said over the weekend that it was renaming itself the Islamic State.