President Barack Obama said on Thursday he’s prepared to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to “assess how we can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces.”
Obama added that “American forces will not be returning to combat” but will help Iraqis “take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region and American interests as well.”
Up to 100 U.S. special forces — probably Green Berets, Army Rangers and Navy SEALs — would go to Iraq to advise its military and collect intelligence under a Pentagon plan offered to President Barack Obama, according to several U.S. officials.
An announcement on the plan could come Thursday, though the officials made clear that Obama will decide whether to accept it and when to announce it.
The White House initially said Obama would make a statement on the situation in Iraq at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, after meeting with his national security team. The timing of the statement was pushed back to 1:15 p.m.
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