WASHINGTON – President Obama announced Thursday he is prepared to send up to 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq to assist in training and advising Iraqi forces as the tense situation in the country continues to escalate.
In a statement in the White House briefing room, President Obama said the U.S. is prepared to create joint operation centers between the U.S. and Iraq in Baghdad and northern Iraq.
The president also said the U.S. is taking steps so that it’s “prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine the situation on the ground requires it.” The president said he would consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq before any decision is made.
President Obama said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to the Middle East and Europe where he will talk about the situation in Iraq.
The president reiterated his pledge to not send combat boots back into Iraq.
“We always have to guard against mission creep,” the president said. “American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.”