MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama in a Monday statement reaffirmed that the US military had no plans to put combat forces on the ground in Iraq, despite an increase in US airstrikes at Islamic State positions in the country’s north.
“I have been firm from the start that we are not reintroducing thousands of US troops back on the Iraqi territory,” Barack Obama said in response to journalists after the statement.
On Monday, the US president held a speech at the White House to give the latest updates on the situation in Iraq and the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
Barack Obama stressed that the ultimate goal of US air missions in Iraq was to make sure that people on the ground were protected.
He noted that it was important to restrain the IS militant forces, threatening religious minorities in Iraqi Kurdistan, saying that “a savage group that seems willing to slaughter people for no rhyme or reason” must be contained.
In this regard, Obama said, Washington also wanted to make sure it had a viable partner on the ground – a government formation that is inclusive and appeals to Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.
The United States for a long time has been criticizing the administration of Nouri Maliki for allegedly failing to build a government of national unity.
Obama emphasized the White House had communicated to politicians of all stripes that now that the US is engaged in the fight against IS rebels militarily the Iraqi government should not “let their foot off the gas” and return to politics that had weakened the country.
"It is high time for authorities in Iraq to put behind some of their old practices and to create a credible Iraqi government," Obama noted.