At a time when the Pentagon hoped to be withdrawing troops from Iraq, ABC News has learned additional U.S. troops are going in.
Pentagon officials tell ABC news that two battalions -- about 1,300 troops -- are moving into Iraq from Kuwait. With the additional troops, there will be more than 134,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Officials say the troops are going for two reasons. First, they will provide reinforcements for ongoing operations against insurgents in the Sunni triangle. Second, they will provide additional security for the new Iraqi government which is expected to be named this weekend in Baghdad.
The two batallions are coming from a call-forward brigade of 3,500 troops that has been stationed in Kuwait on stand-by, ready to be rapidly deployed on short notice.
About 650 troops from this brigade were deployed to Baghdad in March for what the Pentagon called a temporary deployment. Those troops remain in Baghdad. Officials would not say how long these additional troops are expected to stay.