16:40 GMT08 March 2021
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    An increase in the US military presence in the Middle East would be a "shameful" mistake, US President Barack Obama said in an interview with local media Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Currently, a US-led coalition of 60 countries has been bombing the positions of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq since 2014 without the approval of the UN Security Council or the Syrian authorities.

    "There are factions inside the Middle East and factions inside the Republican party who think that we should send endless numbers of troops into the Middle East… If in fact the only measure is for us to send another hundred thousand or two hundred thousand troops into Syria or back into Iraq or perhaps into Libya, our goal is that we are now going to be not just the police but the governors of this region, that would be bad strategy. If we make that mistake again, then shame on us," Obama said during CBS' 60 Minutes program.

    Libya is currently facing its worst wave of violence since the beginning of a civil war prompted by the 2011 overthrow of long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi.

    After the 2003 US invasion toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the country has been engulfed in ongoing violence. Large areas of Iraq are currently controlled by the Islamic State extremist group.

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    Tags:
    Middle East, Barack Obama, Libya, Iraq, Syria, US
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