Obama: I Will Not Commit US Troops to Fight Ground War in Iraq

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US President Barack Obama said Wednesday he would never commit the US military to fight a ground war in Iraq as the country could use more efficient ways to eliminate the ISIL threat.

Updated 9:22 p.m. Moscow Time

MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - US President Barack Obama said Wednesday he would never commit the US military to fight a ground war in Iraq as the country could use more efficient ways to eliminate the ISIL threat.

"As your commander-in-chief I will not commit you and rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said in a televised address to US Central Command leaders at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

Obama stressed that it was more important to use the US unique capabilities to contribute to the fight against the Islamic State, including air power, technical assistance and coordination of the actions of an international coalition that at present comprises over 40 states.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey told a Senate committee he does not exclude the participation of US military advisers in combat actions against Islamic State (IS) militants.

On September 10, Obama publicly announced a strategy to defeat the IS, which is also known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL. The plan entails extending US airstrikes from Iraq to Syria and bolstering Kurdish and Iraqi forces army and Syria's moderate opposition.

The jihadist group, known for proclaiming hardline Islamic fundamentalism, has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In 2014, it seized vast areas across Iraq and Syria and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on the territories it controls, forcing thousands members of religious minorities to flee. Up to 50,000 militants are believed to be fighting for the IS.

The international community is organizing a coalition to defeat the dangerous terrorist organization, with separate countries providing Iraq with military and humanitarian aid.

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