Approximately 200 U.S. military and State Department security personnel arrived in Iraq on Sunday and Monday in order to reinforce security at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in the midst of Iraqi military forces combating the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to the Pentagon on Monday.
In addition, the newly arrived U.S. embassy security detail brought drones, helicopters and other equipment. This latest troop and equipment deployment is bolstering the original armed force President Obama sent to Iraq in order to offer training and intelligence to Iraq's military and police forces in their battle against ISIS terrorists.
According to the Pentagon's press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the soldiers and security officials were deployed to Iraq at the direction of President Barack Obama and the Apache attack helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were sent in order to bolster security at the airfield as well as the travel route.
The new arrivals will integrate with existing U.S. embassy security teams, according to Adm. Kirby. "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 in Iraq and Syria," Kirby said.
“We obviously are watching the situation very closely, … given the limits of information that we have. [The] Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [jihadists] remain a legitimate threat to Baghdad and its vicinity," he added.
President Obama's former U.S. ambassador stationed in Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, has claimed the former al-Qaida in Iraq (AQII) now ISIS "will be coming our way" with hundreds -- perhaps thousands of battle-hardened, trained terrorists with authentic U.S. passports, according to the Hill news website.
After launching an offensive in Iraq in early June, the ISIS seized control of most of the city of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, and other areas in Nineveh province. ISIS Islamists, who were formerly called al-Qaida in Iraq (AQII), in December 2013 invaded Fallujah and they are still in control of that war-torn city.