US deploying 275 US troops to Iraq: Obama

US deploying 275 US troops to Iraq: Obama

Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:1AM GMT

US President Barack Obama has notified Congress that he is deploying up to 275 troops to Iraq, where al-Qaeda-linked militants have taken control of some cities.

“This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting US citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat,” Obama said in a letter to legislators on Monday.

“This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed,” he wrote.

According to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the troops will relocate staff from the US Embassy in Baghdad to the consulates in Arbil and Basra, as well as Amman.

The militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have taken control of some key northern Iraqi cities including Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, and Tikrit, the birthplace of former Baathist dictator Saddam Hussein.

The militants, who have posted pictures of their atrocious acts against Iraqis online, have vowed to continue their offensive towards the capital Baghdad but Iraqi armed forces have advanced toward their strongholds.

On Friday, Obama said he was reviewing military options to help the Iraqi government fight the militants. Next day, the Pentagon ordered three warships to move into the Persian Gulf to provide Obama with options should he decide to launch airstrikes against the militants.

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