Pentagon to Deploy Up to 1,300 Troops to Iraq in New Year

Announcement of holiday deployment promises more boots on ground

U.S. troops stand at attention next to a Abrams tank waiting for the arrival of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, December 8, 2014 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait
U.S. troops stand at attention next to a Abrams tank waiting for the arrival of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, December 8, 2014 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait / AP

The Pentagon has announced that up to 1,300 U.S. troops would be sent to Iraq in the New Year, despite promises by President Barack Obama that there would be "no boots on the ground" in Iraq or Syria.

Announcement of the new deployments to Baghdad was made to service members and the media just days before Christmas.

These troops, most of them from combat divisions, will deploy to Baghdad in "late January," according to a Pentagon spokesman.

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel officially "authorized" the deployment, which will consist of around 1,000 soldiers from the Fort Bragg-based 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

"They will begin to deploy in late January and their mission will be to train, advise, and assist Iraqi security forces," according to Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby.

The deployment is part of a November authorization made by Obama to send up to 1,500 troops into Iraq.