Late night on Tuesday, Sept. 2, in Europe, from Tallinn, Estonia, President Obama approved an additional deployment of 350 U.S. troops into Iraq. The approval came hours after the cancerous and murderous militant group ISIS, also known as ISIL, released its latest video showing the execution by beheading of American Freelance Journalist Steven Sotloff -- the U.S. has officially authenticated the video confirming Steven Sotloff's death.
Since June, when ISIS began its brutal murderous campaign across the northern part of Iraq, slaughtering men, women and children, the U.S. initiated what it called a "humanitarian mission" to aid thousands of Iraqi Yazidis who fled to Mount Sinjar, as ISIS took on a genocidal mission to rid of them, because of their Christian influenced religion known as Yazidism.
The number of U.S. military personnel now in Iraq total over 1,100, however, the combat troops, estimated to be around 820, is not serving in a combat capacity -- their role is to protect Baghdad's airport, a U.S. consulate in Erbil, located in the northern part of the Kurdish region, and the Iraq U.S. Embassy. A White House statement made it very clear saying: “These additional forces will not serve in a combat role.”
In a separate authorization, President Obama asked for 300 combat troops into Baghdad and Irbil. Although not all 300 have been deployed, those that have been, are responsible for assisting Iraqi and Kurdish security military forces fighting against ISIS. One major role of the U.S. troops that have been deployed to Iraq and Erbil is to help direct continuing U.S. airstrikes -- it is estimated that the U.S. has launched around 124 airstrikes against ISIS in the northern part of Iraq.
Following up on his decision to send the additional 350 troops into Iraq, on Wednesday, President Obama took the opportunity to address Steven Sotloff's family extending his condolences saying:
Finally, I want to say that today the prayers of the American people are with the family of a devoted and courageous journalist, Steven Sotloff. Overnight, our government determined that, tragically, Steven was taken from us in a horrific act of violence. We cannot even begin to imagine the agony that everyone who loved Steven is feeling right now, especially his mother, his father and his younger sister. So today, our country grieves with them."
President Obama also had some strong words for ISIS, expressing that: "Whatever these murderers think they’ll achieve by killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed," adding; "They have failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed by their barbarism."
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