US Marines To Provide Embassy Security In Iraq (Video)
About 100 U.S. Marines are en route to the American embassy in Baghdad today as the militant group ISAS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) seizes more territory in Iraq, according to ABC News.
The Marines will provide security to U.S. State Department personnel and "stand ready in case the speedy evacuation of American citizens is needed," as The Washington Times puts it.
In addition, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby announced Monday the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde to the Persian Gulf:
"Its presence in the Gulf adds to that of other U.S. naval ships already there -- including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush -- and provides the commander-in-chief additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq, should he choose to use them."
The New York Times reported Sunday that the State Department ordered a "substantial number of its personnel" to evacuate the American Embassy in Baghdad.
But State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki added the caveat:
“Over all, a substantial majority of the U.S. Embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place, and the embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission.”