Military Considering Troops for Iraq, Say U.S. Officials

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga troops watch as smoke billows from the town of Makhmur during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants August 9, 2014. Azad Lashkari/Reuters

Military planners are reportedly considering sending American forces back to Iraq, according to U.S. officials.

A senior military official told the AP that the rationale for sending troops back would be to bolster security around Baghdad, but the number of troops deployed wouldn't exceed 300. The Pentagon has yet to make a final decision as to how many troops will be sent over, if and when they are.

The decision comes on the heels of dozens of drone strikes and airstrikes that have been fired on Islamic State militants since Tuesday. Islamic State militants are threatening to kill an American captive, the journalist Steven Sotloff, if airstrike attacks continue.

The strikes happened mere hours after a video surfaced online of American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in 2012, allegedly being beheaded by Islamic State militants. The black-cloaked militant warns viewers that Sotloff could be killed next if the U.S. continues its drone and airstrike attacks.

Sotloff, who was kidnapped in August 2013 near the Syrian-Turkish border, reported for outlets including Time and MediaLine, among others.