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US Won’t Send Troops To Iraq Over ISIS Crisis – President Obama

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President Barack Obama said Friday that the United States “will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq,” but that he would be reviewing a range of other options to support the Iraqi government against a sweeping advance by militant fighters. Obama said unless Iraq fixes its internal political problems, short-term military help from the United States won’t make much difference.

Obama added that any decision on U.S. military support for Iraq “is going to take several days,” adding that “this is not going to happen overnight.”

Obama also said the United States is not going to get involved militarily again in Iraq without assurances that the government there is working toward a political solution.

Momentum toward U.S. military support for Iraq’s struggling government increased Friday, with Secretary of State John Kerry signaling a decision soon on how to help.

The White House later announced that President Barack Obama would make a statement on Iraq before departing on a trip to North Dakota.

“Given the gravity of the situation I would anticipate timely decisions from the President regarding the challenge,” Kerry told a London conference when asked about this week’s lightning advance by the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, toward Baghdad.

He mentioned some initial moves, but stopped short of spelling out further steps that could include air strikes intended to slow the progress of militants and help the Iraqi military regain its equilibrium.

“We have already taken some immediate steps, including providing enhanced aerial surveillance support to assist the Iraqis in this fight,” Kerry said. “We have also ramped up shipments of military aid to Iraq since the beginning of the year.”

Meanwhile, the United States plans to move the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush into the Persian Gulf in coming hours to provide Obama with options for possible airstrikes, a U.S. official told CNN on Friday, adding the move did not mean a final decision had been made.

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