Obama Sends 350 More Troops to Iraq

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03 Jan 2014, Syria --- Fighters of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carry their weapons during a parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2, 2014. Picture taken January 2, 2014. REUTERS/Yaser Al-Khodor
Photo: Yaser Al-Khodor/Reuters/Corbis

The White House said Tuesday that an additional 350 U.S. troops, mostly from the Army with some Marines, are headed to Iraq to protect Americans stationed there from ISIS. The new troop deployment was requested by the State Department, and appears to be unrelated to the video showing ISIS beheading American journalist Steven Sotloff, which surfaced earlier in the day. The administration said the troop increase will “allow some previously deployed military personnel to depart Iraq, while at the same time providing a more robust, sustainable security force for our personnel and facilities in Baghdad.” As with the roughly 470 U.S. military personnel already in Iraq, the additional forces “will not serve in a combat role.”