The Pentagon said about 100 Marines and Army soldiers have been deployed to Baghdad to help with security at the U.S. Embassy and stand ready in case the speedy evacuation of American citizens is needed.
Rear Adm. John Kirby called it a “small number” of U.S. troops and Marines, the Army Times reported. Another U.S. military official not identified in the Army Times report put the number around 100.
The news of the deployment comes as State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Sunday that most of the 5,000 or so staffers at the U.S. Embassy — located in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the former center of the governmental Coalition Provisional Authority — were going to stay.
“Overall, a substantial majority of the U.S. Embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place, and the embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission,” Ms. Psaki said, the Army Times reported. Others at the embassy have relocated to consulates in Basra, Irbil and in Jordan.
Mr. Kirby, meanwhile, said the U.S. military is keeping “airlift assets at the ready” in case the State Department calls for a speedy evacuation or transport of embassy personnel. the Army Times reported.