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Obama Pledges To Keep Troops Out Of Iraq

In a press conference Thursday, Obama said, "American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again."
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 19, 2014

President Obama ruled out U.S. combat troops in Iraq as Islamic militants continue their attack on the fragile state.

"American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again." (Via CNN)

Obama acknowledged the deep divide between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds in Iraq but urged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to find a political solution to the crisis. (Via Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

"Iraq only holds together if it's inclusive." (Via C-SPAN

The president did promise logistical and diplomatic support for the beleaguered Iraqi state.

Three hundred military advisers will be sent to assist the Iraqi military, and Secretary of State John Kerry will spend next week meeting with allies in Europe and the Middle East. (Via Flickr / RalphAlswang)

The president also announced increased security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. 

Republicans have criticized Obama's reluctance to engage militarily in Iraq. (Via National Review)

In a much-discussed op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Dick and Liz Cheney said of Obama's Iraq policy: "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."

Democrats, on the other hand, have been quick to criticize the platform given to the architects of the 2003 Iraqi invasion. (Via Twitter / @JamesFallows

In a press briefing last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said: "If you want to talk about Iraq and the opposition they have always had to our military engagement there, we have to go back to 2003 — or go back to 2002, when the Bush administration misrepresented the facts to the American people." (Via Office of Nancy Pelosi)

Obama's statement comes as fighting between ISIS and the Iraqi military intensifies.

​The Sunni militants have, according to some reports, seized much of Iraq's largest oil refinery. The refinery, currently inoperative, provides fuel and electricity for northern and western Iraq. (Via Al Jazeera

Obama also told reporters the U.S is "prepared to take targeted and precise military action" if necessary — widely interpreted as a reference to air strikes.