June 17, 2014 - 14:47 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. President Barack Obama has announced 275 U.S. troops will be deployed to Iraq to provide security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as Sunni insurgents continue to test the nation’s security forces in its push closer to the capital, RT reported.
The White House had reportedly dropped any idea of sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq. The White House did not comment on whether the announcement of embassy security represents a possible break from the Obama administration’s policy against future combat troops in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is said to be considering offering a small contingent of American special forces soldiers to Iraq, U.S. officials said.
The plan would incorporate as many as 100 soldiers in a non-combat, training role to assist Iraqi forces against fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) that have gained ground in nation’s north and west, three U.S. officials told AP on the condition of anonymity.
The special forces plan is reportedly high on the list of options the U.S. is considering in offering the Shiite-led government in Iraq help against the Sunni insurgents as ISIS pushes toward the nation’s capital.
Earlier Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that – in addition to security assistance like Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones already supplied to Iraq – the U.S. is considering using manned or unmanned drone airstrikes to counter insurgent momentum.
It was also reported Monday, June 16 that the USS Mesa Verde, with 550 Marines onboard, has entered the Persian Gulf on Monday for a possible operation in Iraq.
Iraq has requested the hastened delivery of major weapons orders, including dozens of F-16 fighter jets contracted with Lockheed Martin and dozens of Boeing’s Apache helicopters, to counter the insurgent fighters.
An offshoot of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the hyper-fundamentalist group active in Iraq and Syria, fell out with the global terrorist network. It gained notoriety for its ruthless tactics, which include publicly crucifying and beheading those who violate their strict religious interpretations. Its rise and consolidation owe a great deal to the simultaneous power vacuum that arose after the Syrian civil war broke out and the ongoing tumult in Iraq after the U.S. invasion and occupation.
Fighting against the Shia governments of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad and Bashar Assad in Damascus has also allowed the Sunni organization to recruit thousands of people under its aim of eventually turning the entire region into an ultraconservative Muslim caliphate.