President Barack Obama has pledged to send as many as 300 special forces to assist Iraq’s military in its efforts to stop al-Qaeda-linked insurgent activity, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The President also reiterated that U.S. combat troops will not return to Iraq and that U.S. will hold back on airpower deployment until a direct threat to the safety of U.S. personnel there arises, according to the report by Karen DeYoung and Anne Gearan.
“We will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it,” Obama told reported in the White House briefing room Thursday.
He also ordered the deployment of 275 additional troops to secure the U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Middle Eastern nation, according to The Post.
The Post reports that Obama said his goal is to ensure “that we’re getting a better assessment of what’s on the ground and that we’re recognizing the dangers of [ISIS] over the long term and developing the kinds of comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that we’re going to need to deal with this issue.”
DeYoung and Gearan write the U.S. warned Iraq about the Sunni militants’ resurgence and advised Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s administration to establish an inclusive government.
U.S. and Iraqi representatives who attended a recent meeting about Iran’s nuclear development program in Europe discussed the Iraq crisis on the event’s sidelines, The Post reports.
“Our view is that Iran can play a constructive role if it is helping to send the same message to the Iraqi government that we’re sending, which is that Iraq only holds together … if the interests of Sunni, Shia and Kurd are all respected,” Obama told the press.