Thursday, January 29, 2015   

US forces move into Iraq with security mission
(06-17 14:25)

Nearly 300 American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure US assets as President Barack Obama nears a decision on an array of options for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents, including airstrikes or a contingent of special forces.
The US and Iran also held an initial discussion on how the longtime foes might cooperate to ease the threat from the al-Qaida-linked militants that have swept through Iraq. Still, the White House ruled out the possibility that Washington and Tehran might coordinate military operations in Iraq.
Still, there were unmistakable signs of Americans returning to a country from which the US military fully withdrew more than two years ago.
Obama notified Congress that up to 275 troops would be sent to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the American Embassy in Baghdad. The soldiers -- 170 of which have already arrived in Iraq -- were armed for combat, though Obama has insisted he does not intend for US forces to be engaged in direct fighting.
About 100 additional forces are being put on standby, most likely in Kuwait, and could be used for airfield management, security and logistics support, officials said.--AP

   
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