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US sends more military advisers to Iraq

IANS August 13, 2014 11:59 IST
Washington: At least 130 additional US military advisers have arrived in Iraq to help with the humanitarian aid in northern Iraq, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

Hagel announced in California that the new detachment arrived Tuesday in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, where it will help rescue a large group of civilians besieged by the Sunni terrorists of the Islamic State, Xinhua reported.

The troops were there to "take a closer look and give a more in-depth assessment of where we can continue to help the Iraqis", Hagel said, insisting that the troops were not there for combat and the American mission remains "limited".

Hagel restated President Barack Obama's belief that only a new, inclusive Iraqi government could end the crisis there.

"As the president has made very clear, we're not going back into Iraq in any of the same combat mission dimensions that we once were in Iraq," he said.

The new detachment brings the total number of the US troops in Iraq to more than 900, including previous teams of special operators and other troops sent since the crisis flared up in June.