January 5, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will help Iraq in its battle against al Qaeda-linked fighters in western Iraq, but stressed it won’t send troops.
Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday during his visit to the Middle East, Kerry said the United States is not contemplating a return to the volatile nation. U.S. military forces, which invaded Iraq and toppled the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, fought insurgents there for years until they withdrew at the end of 2011.
“We are not, obviously, contemplating returning. We’re not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight, but we’re going to help them in their fight,” Kerry said, noting that the United States plans to be in “close contact with all of the Iraq political leaders” to determine how to help them.