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Obama to send advisors to Iraq, open to military action

Newly-recruited Iraqi volunteers take part in a training on June 19, 2014 in the capital BaghdadPresident Barack Obama pledged to take “precise” military action if needed to check marauding Sunni radicals in Iraq and offered up to 300 US advisors to train Iraqi forces facing a crisis splintering the country on sectarian lines. But Obama, who based an entire political career on ending US involvement in Iraq, insisted the United States is not slipping back into the morass — and issued a sharp warning that sectarianism spells disaster for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Iran. Obama signalled stepped up White House action after meeting top national security advisors to discuss how to respond to swift gains by rebel Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces, which have seized several key cities and threatening to advance on Baghdad. The fighters have northern Iraq’s biggest city, Mosul and taken swathes of territory in an advance which has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, left an unknown number dead and alarmed Western nations who fear the establishment of a vast new “terror” haven.

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