US mulls beefing up military presence in Iraq

US mulls beefing up military presence in Iraq
Thu Aug 21, 2014 17:53:19

The United States may send another 300 troops to Iraq to provide additional security at American diplomatic installations, a senior US official says.

"We are considering sending fewer than 300," the official, who wants to remain anonymous, said on Wednesday.

The official said the State Department has made the request for additional security personnel.

According to reports, thousands of US military personnel, oil contractors, security forces, and diplomats are already in Iraq’s Kurdistan region and the capital Baghdad.

The latest request comes as the US military has conducted more airstrikes against ISIL militants in northern Iraq following the reported beheading of American journalist James Foley.

US defense officials said on Wednesday that 14 airstrikes were carried out in areas where a US air campaign has been targeting ISIL forces that are threatening civilian refugees and the Kurdish regional capital Erbil.

The White House has confirmed the authenticity of a gruesome video showing the beheading of Foley by the ISIL militants in Syria.

The video shows a black-masked ISIL militant beheading Foley in retaliation for US airstrikes against the group in Iraq. The video also warns that the group would slay kidnapped American journalist Steven Sotloff if the US president did not halt the airstrikes.


string(1082) "[{"id":"1622466","sort":"3247209","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/12/alalam_635434638062728599_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"How many Americans are at the ranks of ISIL? US not sure"} ,{"id":"1623113","sort":"3247210","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/15/alalam_635436914919429399_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US jets strike ISIL armored vehicles in Iraq"} ,{"id":"1623459","sort":"3247211","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/16/alalam_635438088986114410_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US hints at Syria rebels to ask Turkey bomb ISIL positions"} ,{"id":"1624080","sort":"3247212","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/18/alalam_635439968281522612_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US airstrikes hit ISIL positions near Iraq dam: Pentagon"} ,{"id":"1624165","sort":"3247213","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/19/alalam_635440359897036074_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"ISIL threatens US: 'We will drown all of you in blood' (video)"} ,{"id":"1624911","sort":"3247214","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/08/21/alalam_635442204432192654_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"ISIL terrorists threaten to behead US second journalist"} ]"