Displaced Iraqis from the Yezidi community gather for humanitarian aid at Nowruz camp, in Derike, Syria, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP/Khalid Mohammed)
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Another 130 U.S. troops arrived in Iraq Tuesday on what the Pentagon described as a temporary mission to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain and evaluate options for getting them out to safety.Another defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity to provide additional details on the sensitive mission, said the extra troops were Marines and special operations forces whose mission was to assess the situation in the Sinjar area and to develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond current U.S. efforts there. Still another official said the mission for the 130 troops could last less than one week. U.S. officials said that while Obama put caps on the number of troops deployed to Iraq, these latest forces were being sent under the authorization for humanitarian assistance and therefore did not exceed the limits.
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