June 17, 2014 08:14
President Barack Obama told Congress on Monday the United States is deploying up to 275 military personnel to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the country's embassy in Baghdad after militants seized control of the north of the country.
"This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat," Obama said in a letter to lawmakers. "This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed."
The president said he was notifying Congress under the War Powers Resolution. The White House says the U.S. military personnel are entering Iraq with its consent.
Also, a senior U.S. official has confirmed the U.S. held a brief discussion with Iran about Iraq on Monday.
The United States and Iran discussed Iraq briefly on Monday, a senior U.S. official confirmed, saying such talks would not include military coordination and would not make "strategic determinations" over the heads of Iraqis.
"The issue did come up briefly with Iran on the margins of the P5+1 in Vienna today, separate from our trilateral meeting," the senior State Department official said, referring to talks between Iran and six major powers about Iran's nuclear program.
U.S., Iranian and European Union officials held three-way talks on Monday but Iraq did not come up there, the official said.
Some information for this report provided by AP.
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