President Obama announced Tuesday he is sending approximately 350 additional military personnel to Iraq to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities and workers in Baghdad.
The White House said in a press release that the personnel will not serve a combat role, and are fulfilling a request from the State Department for more protection as the country fights an insurgency from the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The White House said the additional personnel will be able to provide a “more robust, sustainable security force” and will allow previously deployed personnel to leave the country.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement that Obama’s authorization will result in a net increase of approximately 350 military personnel. Kirby said 405 personnel will be sent to Baghdad, and 55 will leave, leading to the net increase.