Obama sends troops to protect US missions in Iraq

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The United States is deploying up to 275 military troops to Iraq to protect the U.S. Embassy and other American interests and is considering sending a contingent of special forces soldiers.

President Barack Obama has announced that up to 275 military personnel will be deployed to Iraq after fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized control of the country\’s north.
The troops will provide support and security for US personnel and the country\’s embassy in the capital, Baghdad.
"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 US legislators.
"This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed."
Obama said he was notifying Congress under the War Powers Resolution.
The US was also considering drone strikes in Iraq and has sent more ships to the Gulf, as Sunni fighters threatened to march on Baghdad.
Obama\’s notification to Congress Monday also said the move has the consent of the Iraqi government.
The U.S. also is considering working with Iran. But the Pentagon says it has no plans to enter into military cooperation with the Iranians in any action in Iraq.
A top State Department official says U.S. and Iranian diplomats met briefly Monday on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna. The official says talks with the Iranians will not include any discussion of military coordination.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Yahoo News that the Iranians first have to be prepared to do something to respect Iraqi integrity and sovereignty before Washington makes a decision.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says this is not just a military challenge for Iraq\’s government. She says Iraqi leaders must make a sincere effort to govern in a non-sectarian manner and listen to the legitimate grievances of the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities.
U.S. officials say 170 troops already are in Iraq, and about 100 more could be deployed as needed. Officials say the soldiers will help relocate some staff from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
The embassy itself remains open.
Reports from Baquba – capital of Diyala province on the northern approaches to Baghdad – say rebels are reported to have taken over several quarters and captured the main police station, seizing many weapons.
Source –  Agencies

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