Nearly three years after pulling troops out of Iraq, the country is once again threatening to descend into chaos. The Sunni extremist group known as ISIL (sometimes also referred to as ISIS) has been claiming large swaths of territory and destabilizing the already volatile region.
This afternoon, President Obama held a press conference at the White House in which he outlined possible U.S. involvement in the conflict and what he believes needs to happen for the Iraqi government to regain control.
Though Obama said that the U.S. will not be returning to combat, the President did say that "a small number of additional American military advisers, up to 300" could be deployed in the country to aid Iraqi forces.
Obama's statement heavily emphasized Iraq's need to bring Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish groups together. "Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq's future," the president said.
Though it had been speculated that Obama would put pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resign, he stated that it wasn't America's job to choose Iraq's leaders. “Right now, there’s too much suspicion, there’s too much mistrust," he said.
When asked if he regretted pulling troops out in 2011 without leaving a residual force, Obama stressed that it was the Iraq, not the U.S., that had made the decision.
[via Huffington Post]
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