By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
June 19, 2014
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – President Barack Obama stressed today that American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but will help Iraqis fight terrorists who threaten the people, the region, and American interests.
Speaking from the White House, President Obama says the United States is prepared to send up to 300 military advisers, including up to 100 US special forces to Iraq to assess how America can best support Iraqi security forces.
The United States withdrew its final troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, nearly nine years after leading the invasion of Iraq that toppled longtime leader Saddam Hussein.
“At my direction we have significantly increased our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets so that we can get a better picture of what’s taking place inside of Iraq,” Obama said. “And this will give us a better understand of what ISIL is doing, where it’s located, and how we might support efforts to counter this threat.”
Meantime, the Philippine government has ordered the evacuation of Filipinos in Iraq, with the exception of those in the Kurdistan area.
An estimated 6,000 Filipinos live and work in Iraq.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has raised the alert level to four, the highest of all crisis alerts, enforced by the Philippine government.