U.S President Barack Obama has authorised sending an additional 130 military personnel to northern Iraq to access the scope of the humanitarian mission for the thousands of Yazidi minority trapped on Mount Sinjar by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The temporary authorization from Obama comes at the recommendation of the Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel.
These military personnel, comprising of Marines and special operations forces, are being sent to northern Iraq to 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, according to a defence official.
“These forces will not be engaged in a combat role,” the defence official said. “They will work closely with representatives from the US Department of State and USAID to coordinate plans with international partners and non-government organizations committed to helping the Yazidi people.”
At the request of the Government of Iraq, the US government continues to explore ways to support Iraqis affected by the ongoing fighting in Sinjar and to prevent potential acts of genocide by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, he said.