After announcing last week the U.S. would send about 300 military advisers to the war-torn country of Iraq, the White House is now sending an additional 300 more troops to Iraq, bringing the total U.S. troop count in Iraq to approximately 750.
The additional troops are being sent to strengthen the security at U.S. specific places such as the embassy in Iraq and other areas where U.S. citizens are located or own property. CBS News also reports part of the troops will be sent to reinforce the security details at the Baghdad International Airport.
These troops will not be involved with the other troops previously sent to Iraq as military advisers, reports The Journal.
Part of the additional military forces have already been deployed to Iraq, arriving as early as Sunday before the announcement was made late Monday night.
“This force will remain in Iraq,” President Obama wrote in a letter to Congress. “This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat.”
Air support in the form of helicopters and drones will also be sent to the country to help raise “airfield and travel route security,” said John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, according to the Navy Times.
“The presence of these additional forces,” Kirby said according to USA Today, “will help enable the embassy to continue its critical diplomatic mission and work with Iraq on challenges they are facing as they confront Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).”