President Barack Obama is sending 275 U.S. troops to Iraq to “provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad” in the wake of territorial gains made by the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Obama announced the decision in a letter Monday sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Patrick Leahy in which he notified them of the deployment as required by the War Powers Resolution.
“Starting on June 15, 2014, up to approximately 275 U.S. Armed Forces personnel are deploying to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad,” wrote Obama. “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.”
In a statement from the White House Friday, Obama said he was considering a variety of options to deal with the escalating situation in Iraq, but stressed he would “not be sending troops back into combat.”