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Obama to deploy 200 extra troops to Iraq

President Barack Obama said Monday he had sent up to 200 extra US troops equipped for combat, with surveillance gear and helicopters, to protect the US Embassy in Baghdad. Together with a 275-strong embassy protection force already sent and another 300 US special forces charged with advising the Iraqi army, the deployment will mean nearly 800 US soldiers will be in Iraq, following the sudden advance of Sunni Islamic State radicals. “In light of the security situation in Baghdad, I have ordered up to approximately 200 additional US Armed Forces personnel to Iraq to reinforce security at the US Embassy, its support facilities, and the Baghdad International Airport,” Obama said in a letter to Congress. The Pentagon said in a statement that the new detachment had arrived in Iraq on Sunday and was also equipped with aerial drones to protect American personnel traveling away from the embassy — possibly in an evacuation.

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