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Obama does not rule out air strikes in Iraq again

Published on Jun 13, 2014 7:04 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States is not ruling out air strikes to assist the Iraqi government fight a growing radical Islamist insurgency, President Barack Obama said on Thursday, raising the possibility of the first American military intervention in Iraq since the end of the US-led war.

Obama was asked whether Washington would consider drone strikes to combat violence that threatens to break up the country.

"Iraq is going to need more help. It's going to need more help from us, and it's going to need more help from the international community," he said.

"My team is working around the clock to identify how we can provide the most effective assistance to them. I don't rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold," he said.

An Iraqi policeman mans a checkpoint in the capital Baghdad on June 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
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