Washington, 20 Sha’ban 1435/18 June 2014 (MINA) – US President Barack Obama has notified Congress that he is deploying up to 275 troops to Iraq, where al-Qaeda-linked militants have taken control of some cities.
“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 legislators on Monday.
“This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed,” he wrote, Press TV quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
According to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the troops will relocate staff from the US Embassy in Baghdad to the consulates in Arbil and Basra, as well as Amman.
The militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have taken control of some key northern Iraqi cities including Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, and Tikrit, the birthplace of former Baathist dictator Saddam Hussein.
On Friday, Obama said he was reviewing military options to help the Iraqi government fight the militants.
Next day, the Pentagon ordered three warships to move into the Persian Gulf to provide Obama with options should he decide to launch airstrikes against the militants.
Meanwhile, Britain has been planning to ban the al-Qaeda-linked ISIL under the British Terrorism Act.
The Home Office published a draft order on Monday that will be debated in parliament on Thursday. The ban will make it a criminal offense to be a member of or to provide support to the so-called ISIL. (T/P09/E01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)