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President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that 300 military advisors are heading to Iraq to offer support as the Middle Eastern country continues to deal with the advance of Sunni insurgents.
In a press conference, the president said that the advisors will "train, advise and support" the Iraqi government, who is struggling to handle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, the Los Angeles Times reports. The announcement comes as Obama continues to look for ways to assist without sending U.S. troops into combat.
"American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well."
According to CNN, Obama sounded like air strikes remain in the conversation as possible attempts to help Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stem the tide against ISIS, who has quickly gained ground in northern Iraq and are heading towards Baghdad.
Still, military sources say that air strikes would be tricky to actually implement due to militants hiding within local populations and would likely require boots on the ground to help precisely target insurgents.
The president also noted in the conference that part of the blame for the rising violence in the country is on al-Maliki's shoulders as his government hasn't been all that open to Sunni or Kurdish citizens.
image courtesy of INFphoto.com