President Obama is deploying up to 300 U.S. troops to Cameroon to help in the African nation’s fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group, the White House said Wednesday.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the troops will conduct airborne intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance operations in support of a regional force on the ground. An advance contingent of 90 soldiers arrived in Cameroon on Monday.
“They will not be in a combat role,” Mr. Earnest said. “They are armed, but they are armed for the purposes of force protection.”
Mr. Obama notified Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, of the deployment in a letter.
Cameroon has been fighting Boko Haram militants based in neighboring Nigeria. The group has vowed to retaliate against Cameroon for supporting the Nigerian military in its battle to defeat the extremist group.
Two female suicide bombers suspected to be Boko Haram militants killed nine people near the town of Mora in Cameroon early this week.