According to reports, Obama is looking at sending U.S. Special Forces into Iraq to help the nation’s government slow down the militant insurgency that’s been flaring over the past week.
Obama had previously said that he ruled out putting U.S. troops into combat in the war-torn nation, however the latest proposal is a reversal of that stance given the urgency of the situation.
On Monday, three U.S. officials who are familiar with the situation and ongoing discussions within the White House said that the potential of sending Special Forces into Iraq is high on a list of military actions that are in consideration.
The officials weren’t able to say when the troops would be deployed or if they would even remain in Baghdad. They could be sent north to where the al-Qaeda militants have seized several cities in what has been the worst outbreak of violence since the U.S. troops left in 2011.
White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said that while no combat troops would be sent into the country, other options are being considered at the moment.
One official said that the mission would be small and could have up to 100 specially trained soldiers. They also suggested that it may only be an advising and training mission, which means the soldiers would work closely with Iraqi forces but not officially considered combat troops.
Currently, there’s nearly 100 Marines and Special Forces soldiers that have been deployed to the American Embassy to increase security.
In addition to deploying Special Forces, the White House also said that it is considering airstrikes along with increased surveillance over insurgent strongholds to thwart ISIS’s march to Baghdad. They’ve already captured Fallujah, Mosul, and Tikrit along with several smaller towns and have vowed they’ll take the nation’s capital city.