President Obama said today he is prepared to send up to 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq to assist in training and advising Iraqi forces as the tense situation in the country continues to escalate.
In a statement in the White House briefing room, Obama said the U.S. is prepared to create joint operation centers between the U.S. and Iraq in Baghdad and northern Iraq.
The president also said the U.S. is taking steps so that it's "prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine the situation on the ground requires it." The president said he would consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq before any decision is made.
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Obama also said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to the Middle East and Europe where he will talk about the situation in Iraq.
The president reiterated his pledge to not send combat boots back into Iraq.
"We always have to guard against mission creep," the president said. "American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again."
Before the announcement, Obama met with his national security team at the White House. The president huddled with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday where he told the lawmakers he would not need congressional authorization to carry out any of the actions he was considering at the time.
Earlier in the week, the president notified Congress that he was deploying up to 275 military personnel to provide support and security for the embassy in Baghdad.