June 13, 2014

President Obama held a press conference today to announce that the U.S. is going to coordinate efforts to lend support to the Iraq government to try and push back the ISIS threat that has been steamrolling its way towards Baghdad, but the U.S will not send troops back into combat in Iraq.

Obama: This poses a danger to Iraq and and its people and given the nature of these terrorists it could pose a threat to eventually to American interests as well. This threat is not brand new.

Over the last year we've been steadily ramping up our security assistance to the Iraqi government with increased training, equipping and intelligence now Iraq needs additional support. to break the momentum of extremist groups and bolster the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.

We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces and I'll be reviewing those options in the days ahead.

He also made it clear that this is ultimately Iraq's problem and they must defend their own country.

"Nobody has an interest in seeing terrorists gain a foothold inside of Iraq and nobody is going to benefit from seeing Iraq descend into chaos. The United States will do our part," he added. "But understand that ultimately it's up to the Iraqis, as a sovereign nation, to solve their problems."
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"But this is a regional problem and it is going to be a long-term problem," he said. "And what we're going to have to do is combine selective actions by our military to make sure that we're going after terrorists who can harm our personnel overseas or eventually hit the homeland. We're going to have to combine that with what is a very challenging international effort to try to rebuild countries and communities that have been shattered by sectarian war. And that's not an easy task."

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