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UPDATE: Obama Says Targeted Military Action Still Possible in Iraq

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
President Barack Obama says the U.S. is prepared to take targeted military actions in Iraq if they would help fight a growing threat from extremist militants.

President Barack Obama

UPDATE 12:49 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the U.S. is prepared to take targeted military actions in Iraq if they would help fight a growing threat from extremist militants. He also says the U.S. is ready to send as many as 300 military advisers to Iraq.

Obama is offering an update to U.S. operations in Iraq, where al-Qaeda-inspired militants have sparked instability. He says the United States is forming joint operations centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq.

But Obama emphasizes that American combat troops would not be returning to Iraq.

Obama says the U.S. has increased its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in Iraq to better understand the threats to Baghdad.

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UPDATE 12:46 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is sending up to 300 military advisers to help Iraqi forces stem violent sectarian fighting.

The president announced the deployment from the White House Thursday after meeting with his national security team.

Obama said U.S. forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq but will help train Iraqis.

He also says the U.S. is increasing its intelligence efforts in Iraq and is prepared to create joint operations centers to share with Iraqis.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. official says the Obama administration is poised to announce it will send about 100 Army special forces members, divided into teams of about a dozen each, to advise and assist the Iraq forces.

There are already a handful of the special forces in Iraq that have been there as part of the Office of Security Cooperation in Baghdad. They would likely be the first to be sent out as part of this plan, said the official who was not authorized to speak publicly and thus talked on condition of anonymity. The other Green Berets would be brought in from around the region.

The commandos would not be fighting in direct combat, but could provide intelligence and greater insight into what the Iraqi units need.


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