President Barack Obama has explicitly ruled out deploying U.S. troops to Iraq for combat, but he is willing to put Americans into a collapsing security situation for training, equipped for combat.
Obama says the troops will provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and will remain in Iraq until no longer needed.
KRMG obtained this statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby: "The safety of personnel serving in diplomatic missions abroad is among our highest priorities. The presence of these additional forces will help enable the State Department to continue their critical diplomatic mission and work with Iraqis on challenges they are facing."
About 160 troops are already in Iraq, including 50 Marines and more than 100 Army soldiers.
Under Obama's authorization, a U.S. official says the U.S. will put an additional 100 soldiers in a nearby third country where they would be held in reserve until needed.
The news was announced the day thousands of residents are fleeing Tal Afar in northern Iraq. Sunni militants captured the city, a key prize for the militants, as they try to link areas under their control on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border.
Tal Afar is strategically located on the main highway between the border and Mosul, which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant captured last week.
The White House says the U.S. military personnel are entering Iraq with its consent.