Obama: No US troops to Iraq - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Obama: No US troops to Iraq

Updated:
President Obama spoke to reporters Friday. President Obama spoke to reporters Friday.
WASHINGTON, DC - President Barack Obama says he will take several days to decide how to react to the militant insurgency in Iraq.

At a news conference outside the White House Friday, the president said the chaos in Iraq could eventually pose a threat to American interests.

But Obama said he will not send US troops back into combat in Iraq as he is considering other options.

Read his full remarks here.

"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 Iraq Security forces, and I'll be reviewing those options in the days ahead," said the president.

He said the United States will not take military action if the Iraq government will not work to find a political solution to the crisis, and that Iraq should seek ways to rise above the sectarianism that has long plagued the country.

"In the face of a terrorist offensive, Iraqi security forces have proven unable to defend a number of cities, which has allowed the terrorists to overrun a part of Iraqi's territory.  This poses a danger to Iraq and its people, and given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well," Obama said.

"We can't do it for them.  In the absence of this type of political effort short-term military action, including any assistance we might provide won't succeed. So this should be a wake-up call. Iraq's leaders have to demonstrate a willingness to make hard decisions and compromises on behalf of the Iraqi people in order to bring the country together," the president added.

There has been some concern about unrest in Iraq driving up oil prices.

"Well so far at least we have not seen major disruptions in oil supplies.  Obviously, if in fact ISIL was able to obtain control over major output, significant refineries, that could be a source of concern," said Obama.

He was cautious about any military intervention, saying, "We're not going to allow ourselves to be dragged back into a situation in which while we're there we're keeping a lid on things and after enormous sacrifices by us, as soon as we're not there suddenly people end up acting in ways that are not conducive to the long-term stability and prosperity of the country."

The president did not say what military options he is considering. Administration officials say he is considering airstrikes using drones or manned aircraft.
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