American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014 – President Barack Obama has directed the U.S. military to deploy an additional 200 personnel to reinforce security at the American Embassy in Baghdad and other U.S. facilities as well as at the city's international airport.
Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby described the stepped-up security as a prudent measure to protect U.S. citizens and property.
In a written statement, Kirby said the additional personnel arrived in Iraq over the past two days from locations within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Capabilities provided include a detachment of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, which will bolster airfield and travel route security. Similar to the U.S. security personnel who arrived in Baghdad earlier this month to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, they will integrate with existing embassy security teams.
The presence of these additional forces 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 of Iraq and the Levant militants, Kirby said.
In addition, the approximately 100 personnel already pre-positioned in the U.S. Central Command region -- previously announced by the Defense Department in mid-June -- also will move forward to Baghdad to provide security and logistics support.
Kirby said these forces are separate from the up to 300 personnel the president authorized to establish two joint operations centers and conduct an assessment of how the U.S. can provide additional support to Iraq's security forces as they confront the threat posed by ISIL.