US Troops Likely to Remain in Iraq After Obama’s Presidency - White House

© AP Photo / Susan WalshPresident Barack Obama
President Barack Obama - Sputnik International
US troops will likely remain in Iraq to help local Iraqi and international coalition forces fight against Islamic State terrorists even after US President Barack Obama leaves office, White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Wednesday, the White House announced it would send some 450 military personnel to Iraq to train local forces as part of the counter-ISIL effort.

"I would expect that at least some of the US military personnel that are currently in Iraq will still be there when the president leaves office.”

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The White House added that the decision was made following a request from Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and upon the recommendation of US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, and received “unanimous support” of Obama’s national security team.

Earnest stressed that Obama had acknowledged since 2014 that the fight against Islamic State would be no “short term proposition.”

“We do not expect that the situation with ISIL [Islamic State] will be resolved by the president's last day in office,” Earnest stated.

The United States currently has some 3,000 troops in Iraq in a training capacity and continues to carry out airstrikes on ISIL positions in Iraq, as well as Syria, where the Sunni radicals have also seized vast territories.

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