President Barack Obama ordered approximately 350 additional military personnel on the ground in Baghdad, the Pentagon announced Tuesday evening. The new forces will be charged with providing security at the Baghdad Embassy Compound and its support facilities.
Following two prior deployments of more support, this will bring the total forces responsible for augmenting diplomatic security in Iraq up to approximately 820.
In a prepared statement, The Department of Defense said it, "will continue to plan and prepare further military options should they become necessary, and we will remain ready to protect our diplomats, our citizens, and our interests in Iraq."
Earlier Tuesday, U.S. military officials said an airstrike against Islamic State militants in Iraq damaged or destroyed 16 armed vehicles near the Mosul Dam. By the count of the U.S. Central Command, that's the 124th airstrike in Iraq since operations against the group ISIS began in early August. The new military action came just as ISIS released a video purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff. He had worked in Syria as a freelancer for Time and Foreign Policy magazines.