Obama: US will send up to 300 military to Iraq - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Obama: US will send up to 300 military to Iraq

Updated:
WASHINGTON - 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.
   
The president announced the deployment from the White House Thursday after meeting with his national security team.
   
Obama: Iraqi gov't must be more inclusive

Obama says it's going to be hard for the current Iraqi government to resolve the country's crisis unless the government is more inclusive.
    
Obama stopped short of calling for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resign. He says it's not the United States' job to choose Iraq's leaders.
    
But he says whoever is prime minister must make sure all sectarian groups feel they can advance their interest through the political process.

Obama: Iran could play constructive role in Iraq   

Obama says Iran can play a constructive role in Iraq if it sends a message that Iraq's government must be inclusive and respect the interests of Sunnis and Kurds.
    
He says that's the same message the United States is sending.
    
But Obama says if Iran comes into the conflict solely as an armed force backing the Shiite-led government, its involvement would probably worsen the situation.
    
Obama says Iran's leaders have a decision to make about what role to play there. He says Tehran should consider whether its view of the region is solely through sectarian frames. He says if that's the case, Iran could find itself fighting in lots of places in the world.

Boehner wants plan to curb violence

House Speaker John Boehner says terrorism has grown dramatically on President Barack Obama's watch and says it's time for him to present a plan for curbing its spread.
    
The Ohio Republican says he's long called on Obama to take more action against terrorism. He says with violence spreading in places like Iraq, Syria and Libya, it seems like in his words, "the wheels are coming off" the administration's anti-terrorism efforts.
    
Boehner spoke to reporters shortly before Obama was scheduled to speak at the White House about his plans for Iraq. An offensive by Sunni militants there is threatening to push that country into a civil war.
    
The Ohio Republican also says that Obama must craft a strategy for combating terrorism in the entire Middle East, not just Iraq.

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