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350 more U.S. troops to Iraq
(ABC News) - An additional 350 U.S. troops will go to Iraq to protect U.S. personnel stationed in Baghdad, the White House announced today.
The State Dept. had requested extra military personnel for security, and after the Department of Defense reviewed that request and recommended it be granted, President Obama approved the additional forces today, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced in a statement to reporters.
“The additional forces will not serve a combat role,” Earnest wrote. In today’s daily press briefing, Earnest again reiterated Obama's stance that the U.S. will not send combat troops to fight on Iraq.
A U.S. official said the 350 new troops headed to Baghdad are a mix of Marines and Army personnel already serving in the U.S. Central Command’s theater of operations, which stretches from Egypt eastward through the Middle East and Turkey, up to Kazakhstan.
This deployment will bring to 820 the total of U.S. forces responsible for augmenting diplomatic security in Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement to reporters, noting that a total of 405 military personnel will go to Baghdad, allowing 55 currently stationed there to leave Iraq.