United States sends another 130 military personnel to Iraq

WASHINGTON Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:54am EDT

Flight deck crew member gives a thumbs up to take off to pilot of F/A-18C Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron to take off the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, in the Gulf August 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Flight deck crew member gives a thumbs up to take off to pilot of F/A-18C Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron to take off the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, in the Gulf August 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration has sent about 130 additional military personnel to Iraq, U.S Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Tuesday, as Washington seeks to help Iraq contain the threat posed by hardline militants from the Islamic State.

Hagel, speaking to troops in California, said the soldiers had arrived in the area around Iraqi Kurdistan's capital, Arbil, earlier in the day on Tuesday.

A U.S. defense official, in a statement issued as Hagel was speaking, said the soldiers sent to northern Iraq would "assess the scope of the humanitarian mission and develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond the current airdrop effort in support of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."

(Reporting By Missy Ryan; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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