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US may send 100 special forces to Baghdad: official

President Obama has vowed not to approve “boots on the ground” in Iraq — three years after a large American force withdrew.

Image: Carolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

THE UNITED STATES may deploy 100 special forces troops to advise the Iraqi army in its defence of Baghdad from Sunni extremists but not initially to call in airstrikes, US defence officials have said.

President Barack Obama is “leaning” toward a limited course of action that would “embed” the commandos with Iraqi forces, one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

A second US official said the 100 troops would be capable of calling in air strikes if the administration later ordered that step.

The 100 troops would be in addition to the 275 forces that Obama has aready mobilized to bolster security at the American embassy in Baghdad, the official said.

It was unclear how the White House would explain sending troops to advise the Iraqi army as Obama has vowed not to approve “boots on the ground” in Iraq – three years after a large American force withdrew.

Obama’s most senior security advisers met at the White House to discuss the potential deployment minutes before a scheduled announcement by the president on Iraq.

The President is due to make a statement on the situation shortly.

- © AFP, 2014

Read: Drones are ruled in, troops are ruled out but Obama still can’t decide on Iraq

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