WASHINGTON, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The White House said Monday that it was deploying up to 275 U.S. soldiers in Baghdad for the security of the U.S. Embassy there amid concern over a militant group's advancement toward the Iraqi capital.
President Barack Obama had notified Congress that approximately 275 U.S. military personnel were being deploying to Iraq "to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad," the White House said in a statement.
The deployment started on Sunday, it said.
This force was being deployed for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and was equipped for combat, Obama said in a report to Congress. "This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed."
"This action has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as commander in chief and chief executive," said the president.
The personnel will provide assistance to the State Department in connection with the temporary relocation of some staff from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to the U.S. Consulates General in Basra and Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman.
These U.S. military personnel were entering Iraq with the consent of the Iraqi government, said the White House.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad remained open, and a substantial majority of the embassy presence in Iraq would remain in place and the embassy would be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission, according to the statement.
WASHINGTON, June 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama is in a tough spot as Islamic militants sweep across northern Iraq, overtaking two major cities as tens of thousands of Iraqi government troops reportedly abandon their posts.
Fighters from the Sunni group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are reportedly beheading victims in a bid to instill fear as they sweep through the country's north, and have vowed to attack the national capital city of Baghdad. Full story