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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

'US will not fight another ground war in Iraq'

US president Barack Obama, trying to reassure war-weary citizens, has vowed that the United States will not fight another ground war in Iraq but his spokesman said some military advisers could end up in front-line positions against Islamic State.

Obama, who has spent much of his presidency distancing himself from the Iraq War, stressed that airstrikes would be the central US contribution to the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, along with coordinating a coalition that he said now includes more than 40 countries.

"I want to be clear. The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission," Obama said in a speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

"We will train and equip our partners. We will advise them and we will assist them. We will lead a broad coalition of countries who have a stake in this fight," he said.

His spokesman Josh Earnest said some US military advisers could be deployed to forward positions to help direct Iraqi security forces and call in airstrikes, but said they would "not be personally or directly engaging the enemy."

Yesterday General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, had raised concerns among some of Obama's fellow Democrats when he said some American military personnel could eventually take up frontline positions with local fighters.

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Tags:  US  Obama  Islamic State  war  





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